Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

An indictment is required for most federal charges and it is the finding by a grand jury that there is probable cause that a defendant has violated the law. The indictment is a decision based solely on evidence presented by the government. The defendant is not allowed to present evidence to the grand jury, nor is the defendant allowed to testify. Most of the time a defendant does not even know there is an indictment until they are arrested. The grand jury listens to the evidence that the government wants it to hear and nothing more. This is a closed door process and the public is not allowed to view the proceedings. A federal indictment requires a grand jury. When the grand jury finds probable cause it is called a true bill. The modern grand jury process has become a rubber stamp for the government to come to court and declare that a defendant has been indicted by the grand jury. The correct phrase should be that a defendant has been indicted by the grand jury based on the limited information we provided at the proceeding. Our federal criminal defense attorneys defend indictments for the following charges in Charleston, Miami, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Florence and other federal courts.White Collar Crimes – such as fraud, embezzlement, insider trading.
Trading with the Enemy Act – used primarily against Iran, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and any country our government deems an enemy.
Drug Trafficking – a popular indictment anywhere, but very prevalent in the South District of Florida. Cocaine is imported through Miami on a regular basis and many indictments come out of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.
Mortgage Fraud – will soon be a large part of federal indictments. The mortgage broker, the borrower, and possibly the lender are going to be held to strict scrutiny over the coming months. Any false information on an application could be used in an indictment. This is also part of appraisal fraud. If the appraiser significantly over valued a property for profit.
Embezzlement – theft from the company by an employee or owner is going to come about from the mortgage crisis.
Counterfeiting – the Treasury Department and the Secret Service will be investigating any type of monetary counterfeiting.
Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft – these types of cases are becoming more prevalent. Again the investigation will be conducted by the FBI, Treasury Department and possibly the Secret Service. The penalties will be based on the amount of money stolen and the damage to the victim. This also includes Access Devices, i.e., counterfeit access devices.
Conspiracy – almost every federal indictment has a conspiracy count. It is the catch all count that grabs all defendants.
Aiding and Abetting – the government must show a defendant associated himself with a criminal venture.
Insurance Fraud – making a false claim to the insurance company, intentionally destroying insured property or fraudulently obtaining insurance can be prosecuted at the state for federal level.
Computer or Internet Fraud – this type of fraud has come about in the past 10 years.
Medicare or Medicaid Fraud – overbilling, billing for medicine and products that were never delivered are common forms of fraud the government will seek to indict. The dilution of medication will also form a basis for an indictment.
Alien Smuggling – this has become a lucrative and dangerous act for many. The federal government takes these cases very seriously and if anyone is injured during the smuggling, there are even stiffer penalties.
Wire Fraud and Mail Fraud – very similar in elements for the indictment. Mail fraud usually involves the U.S. Post Office.
Immigration Offenses – this would includ falsifying documents for the immigration office.
Firearms Violations – this included the importation of guns, distribution of guns with requisite forms, and any type of business that involves firearms. The ATF, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, branch of the Justice Department handles all firearms indictments.
Travel to Engage in Illicit Sex with a Minor – this has become a recent concern with individuals traveling outside of the United States to have sex with minors. Many business men are traveling to Central American and the Far East to engage in sex with minors. The U.S. Government has decided to prosecute U.S. Citizens for any acts they perform outside the United States. The very act of getting on an airplane is usually sufficient for the indictment, even if it is insufficient for a conviction.
Bank Robbery – this is the classic federal crime. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is usually the lead agency for any bank robbery.
Extradition Cases – whether being extradited to another state or country we can assist the client.
Arson – this is not a common federal indictment.
Bank Fraud – includes false statements, misapplication of bank funds.
Carjacking – usually a violent offense for the federal government to get involved.
Currency Transaction Reporting Forms – any funds of $10,000.00 must be reported to the IRS.
Drug Distribution – similar to trafficking of drugs.
Explosives – this is not a common indictment. However the penalties are severe.
Kidnapping – this can be charged at the state or federal level.
Murder-for-Hire – usually and FBI case.
Obstruction of Justice – this usually comes from the initial investigation into a case. Not telling the truth will get this every time, along with a perjury count.
Tax Offenses – non-reporting, evasion, or failing to file a return.
Internet Crimes – will usually invoke federal jurisdiction.
RICO – Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations
Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Other Federal Representation:

Grand Jury Representation
Federal Criminal Appeals
International Defense

Specific Defenses;

Insanity
Entrapment
Mistake of Fact
Mistake of Law
Impossibility
Good Faith Reliance on Advice of Expert
Duress, Coercion, and Necessity

WHAT IF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY OR PLEAD GUILTY?

You must have an attorney that has a great understanding of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Your attorney must get as much information as possible to the United States Probation Officer prior to your Presentence Interview
Letters from friends and family who will not be able to attend court
Evidence showing your efforts to pay the lender or evidence that shows a lack of complete knowledge relating to the extent of the fraud
Attend a Bureau of Prison Induction class if your guideline range excludes a probation sentence