The federal criminal justice system bears little resemblance to the Nebraska court system. If you’re charged with a federal crime or under investigation for a federal offense, you should speak with an attorney who understands the difference between these two systems. The legal team at Berry Law has extensive knowledge of federal criminal procedures, grand jury processes, law enforcement agency policies, and sentencing guidelines. If you are facing federal charges, contact Berry Law today to schedule a confidential consultation.
The consequences of a federal conviction are severe, so it is best to work with an aggressive defense attorney on your case. Our Lincoln federal crimes lawyers have the experience and determination necessary to help you fight your charges.
Who Investigates and Prosecutes Federal Crimes?
There are multiple federal agencies that investigate federal crimes. Some of these agencies investigate a broad range of cases, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Department of Justice also has its own investigators that pursue federal crimes.
Others are specialized, focusing on a very narrow area of the law. For example, investigators for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) focus entirely on financial crimes. Likewise, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) primarily investigates the trafficking of illegal guns.
It is also not uncommon for multiple agencies to work together during an investigation. A drug sting operation might include the FBI, the Justice Department, the ATF, and state and local officials.
The United States Attorney for your district or an Assistant U.S. Attorney will be responsible for prosecuting your case. The skilled criminal lawyers at Berry Law understand how these federal entities operate and can inform you of what to expect in your case.
What is a Federal Grand Jury in Lincoln?
Before a criminal case goes to trial, it must go before a grand jury. The federal government relies on grand juries to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a criminal prosecution.
This procedure is different from a standard trial. The government presents its evidence to the grand jury, and the defendant does not have the right to respond. In fact, this process occurs in secret, often without the defendant knowing that a grand jury is taking place.
It is not the role of a grand jury to determine guilt or innocence. Instead, this group of people will only decide if there is probable cause for a prosecution to go forward. If you recently learned your case went before a federal grand jury, a diligent attorney in Lincoln can help you prepare a defense.
How Does Sentencing Work in Federal Cases?
The federal government sentences criminal defendants differently than state courts. Typically, state law sets out a sentencing range and allows the judge to determine what sentence within that range is appropriate. The federal government takes a less flexible approach to sentencing.
When a person is convicted of a federal crime, the government will rely on federal sentencing guidelines to determine the appropriate punishment. Each criminal offense has a set penalty range, but the courts must rely on the other factors within the sentencing guidelines to upgrade or downgrade the sentence within that range.
There are multiple factors that can impact the sentence in a federal case. For example, a person with prior criminal convictions can expect to face a sentence on the higher end of the spectrum. There could also be facts surrounding the case that reduce the sentence, like cooperating with federal authorities.
Deviation from the Recommended Guidelines
It is worth noting that the Supreme Court has ruled that strict use of these guidelines is not mandatory. This means that in some situations, a judge could deviate from the recommendation of the guidelines entirely.
A deviation could result in a penalty below or above what is recommended, but it cannot lead to a sentence that exceeds the maximum allowed by law. A meticulous lawyer can help you assess several factors to determine how your circumstances may impact the federal judge’s sentencing.
Our Law Firm Has Helped Clients in Federal Court for Decades
At Berry Law, our attorneys have the experience and trial skills necessary to plan and fight your legal battles. The FBI and DEA can mount and sustain a lengthy investigation, and few federal prosecutors will seek an indictment on charges they’re not confident of winning.
Nevertheless, you still have constitutional rights and due process protections, and our attorneys know how to defend your rights in federal court. We have the experience and staff to try an extensive and detailed jury case by protecting your rights while requiring the government to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Call a Lincoln Federal Crimes Attorney Right Away
Our Lincoln federal criminal lawyers have represented defendants in several types of cases. Whether you were accused of a drug offense, a sex crime, or a white-collar crime, the legal team at Berry Law will fight for you. Call us today to set up a confidential consultation.