Federal Criminal Cases
Federal criminal cases are vastly different from other types of criminal cases. The rules of procedure are unbending, the charges are usually complex; and the penalties are severe. Furthermore, the Government spares no expense or resource in its attempting to obtain convictions and seizing the valuable assets of individuals and corporations that are under investigation for, or have been charged with, the alleged commission of federal crimes. If you are a subject or the target of a federal investigation, your or your corporation’s assets have been seized, or you have been charged with a federal crime, you need serious and experienced legal representation. That is where Lucas M. Taylor, Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer can help.
The U.S. justice system is divided into state and federal courts. Federal courts have jurisdiction and authority to adjudicate federal criminal offenses, while state courts decide on violations of state offenses. In total, there are 95 federal districts in the U.S., two of which are in Iowa, the Northern and Southern Districts.
This fact becomes all the more concerning since the Justice Department recently announced to intensify its efforts and to increase the number of federal prosecutions. Texans must be aware of this.
In 2017, Attorney General Sessions directed federal prosecutors to charge the most serious charges and pursue the harshest sentences. This policy significantly limits the discretion of federal prosecutors to charge a less serious offense, negotiate a plea agreement, or agree to more lenient sentencing. The policy requires a supervising attorney to approve prosecutor decisions to charge a case with less than the maximum sustainable charge or a lesser sentence. Any departure from the harsh new policy also requires the approval of a supervising attorney. The rationale justifying the deviation from this harsh policy must be written in the case file. Some critics argue that few prosecutors will ever risk exercising their discretion given these obstacles. The instructions address all federal agencies investigating federal offenses, such as the:
- Department of Homeland Security
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Office of Inspector General (OIG)
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Attorney’s Office (USAO)
This policy denying prosecutor discretion to show leniency has even more devastating consequences because of the federal sentencing guidelines. Federal judges typically follow the sentencing guidelines, which may include mandatory minimum terms. Between the inflexible practices of Department of Justice and Office of the Attorney General prosecutors and harsh federal sentencing guidelines, criminal defendants in federal court need a skilled advocate who understands these tough challenges and possesses a track record of success.