Howard County Federal Criminal Lawyer
Facing any criminal charges can be a difficult experience as there can potentially be significant consequences if you are convicted. There is often even more on the line when it comes to facing federal criminal charges. That is why a Howard County federal criminal lawyer can be an important part of preparing your defense against federal criminal charges. Discussing your case with an established criminal attorney could give you peace of mind throughout the duration of your case.
What is the Federal Criminal Process?
In order to be charged with a federal crime, prosecutors must first present evidence to a grand jury. If a grand jury determines that there is enough evidence to go to trial, the individual will likely to be indicted. This does not mean that the prosecution has proven their case – it means that there is enough evidence that there is the potential for them to do so during trial.
Someone may be arrested or asked to surrender to federal authorities based on the charges against them. This will lead to an initial hearing where an experienced federal criminal defense attorney can argue for bail and negotiate the conditions of someone’s release.
The accused will be informed of the charges against them during an arraignment in which evidence may also be presented. Within 70 days, they could face trial. This time period may be extended depending on the circumstances of the case and if either side has requested and been granted an extension.
What Must the Prosecution Prove?
Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in all criminal cases, including those at the federal level. Depending on the evidence against the individual, they may be offered plea bargains or other reduced sentencing initiatives before going to trial. The accused can review their options with a Howard County federal criminal lawyer that understands the nuances of federal law and procedure who can help advise you throughout the federal criminal process.
Common Federal Charges
For the most part, police powers are left up to each individual state. That means that most crimes are prosecuted at the state level. However, there are some crimes that federal authorities retain exclusive jurisdiction over. These can include:
- Mail fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Assaulting a federal official
- Copyright infringement
- Insider trading
- Conspiracy to commit an enumerated federal crime or other crime falling under federal jurisdiction, among others
A Howard County federal criminal lawyer can help someone understand the nature of the crime, be it federal or state. There are also other crimes that are usually prosecuted at the state level but may become federal crimes depending on the circumstances.
In the same way, some sex crimes may also constitute federal crimes even though the majority of them are handled at the state level. An example might be emailing an image qualifying as child pornography to an individual in another state. Given the close proximity of Maryland to other states, it is fairly easy for these types of crimes to become federal in nature.
How a Howard County Federal Criminal Attorney Can Help
Federal crimes are serious, and they can be intimidating. Working with an experienced legal advocate can mean you do not have to face these types of serious charges alone. With so much on the line when it comes to federal criminal charges, it is important to secure dependable legal advocacy that can help you take a dynamic approach to exploring all of the options available to you in defending against your charges.
If you are facing federal criminal charges, contact the dedicated Howard County federal criminal lawyer at our firm to find out more about how we can work with you to navigate the legal process involved in your defense.