Martinsburg Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
Serving Clients Throughout West Virginia, Berkeley County & Beyond
Many criminal charges are filed by local law enforcement and heard in state court. However, in some situations, the federal government can step in to pursue the charges against a person. These federal charges are then prosecuted in federal court.
Federal crimes are generally offenses that violate U.S. federal laws, are committed on federal property or against federal officers, or are major crimes that cross state lines. These offenses differ from state crimes, which are offenses that violate only state laws and are prosecuted by state attorneys in state courts.
Different laws and proceedings govern federal crimes, and not all lawyers are licensed to represent clients in the federal judicial system. If you have been charged with a federal crime, it is paramount that you work with a legal team that is experienced in the challenges of federal court. Our nationally- recognized attorneys at The Criminal Law Center have defended clients and won acquittals in federal court on various criminal charges.
What Is Different About Federal Criminal Charges?
At the federal level, law enforcement agencies are better funded than at the state or local level. Federal agents and prosecutors have tremendous resources at each stage of the investigation and prosecution. In many of these cases, investigations begin years before an arrest is made.
These are often sophisticated and complex crimes investigated by the FBI,DEA, ATF, IRS, Department of Justice, and other federal agencies that have almost unlimited funding. As an individual under federal investigation, you may be targeted and advised of a pending investigation, especially in white-collar crimes. Upon learning this information, you should immediately seek legal help to ensure that your rights are protected when being questioned or investigated by federal personnel. We strongly recommend that you seek help from The Criminal Law Center.
Federal crimes can range from violent to nonviolent. In their violation of federal statutes, they may be committed against people, groups, businesses, or federal agencies.
Examples of federal crimes include but are not limited to:
- Drug Trafficking: Penalties can range from five years to life imprisonment, depending on the quantity and type of drug involved.
- Bank Fraud: Convictions can carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to one million dollars.
- Kidnapping across State Lines: Penalties can include life imprisonment.
- Mail Fraud: Convictions can result in up to 20 years in prison and significant fines.
- Tax Evasion: Punishment can be up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for individuals or $500,000 for corporations.
- Cyber Crimes: These involve illegal activities conducted via the internet, such as hacking or phishing, and can result in up to 20 years imprisonment depending on the severity of the crime.
- Money Laundering: This is the process of making illegally-gained proceeds appear legal and can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and substantial monetary fines.
- Insider Trading: This involves trading a public company's stock or other securities based on non-public information. Violators can face up to 20 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.
- Ponzi Schemes: These are fraudulent investing scams promising high rates of return with little risk which can lead to up to 20 years in prison and hefty fines.
- Armed Bank Robbery: This involves using a weapon to rob a bank and can result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
- Election Fraud: This crime includes illegal interference with the process of an election and can carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and significant fines.
- Human Trafficking: This involves recruiting, transporting, or harboring people for exploitation and can result in life imprisonment.
- Organized Crime: This involves structured groups conducting illegal activities, often for profit. Penalties can range from hefty fines to life imprisonment.
- Public Corruption: This is a crime involving a breach of public trust and/or abuse of position by federal, state, or local officials and can result in fines, restitution, and imprisonment up to 15 years depending on the offense.
- Social Security Fraud: This involves making false statements on claims or concealing facts or events which could affect eligibility for Social Security benefits. Convictions can result in fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.
- Medicare/Medicaid Fraud: This involves filing false claims or making fraudulent statements to obtain a government healthcare payment and can lead to penalties including imprisonment of up to 10 years and significant fines.
Why Choose Us?
As federal trial lawyers, our team has represented clients in serious federal prosecutions across the nation including West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
Each of our attorneys has significant experience fighting to protect our clients in federal investigations and prosecutions. From the negotiations that take place early in the investigation to the filing of criminal charges to the jury trial, our attorneys have successfully represented clients at each stage of the federal criminal process.