Schweitzer & Davidian Our Criminal Defense Blogs

Craft an aggressive defense to federal crimes

Most of our Fresno readers probably know that there are criminal justice systems in place at both the state and federal levels. A person can be charged with a crime in state court or federal court, and sometimes both. However, when a person is prosecuted in federal court, the case usually involves felony level allegations, and the potential sentence in the event of a criminal conviction can be much more severe.

Unlike many state courts, where judges have quite a bit of leeway in determining the appropriate sentence for an offender based on a wide variety of factors, federal court judges are often times constrained by what is known as mandatory minimum sentences. This means that in many cases a particular type of sentence is already prescribed for a particular type of crime, and the judge has no discretion to impose a lesser sentence.

However, perhaps the most compelling reason to craft an aggressive criminal defense strategy when facing federal criminal charges is this: a person who is convicted is expected to serve at least 85 percent of the overall sentence before any type of early release will be considered. That is a big difference between state and federal court.

At our law firm, we attempt to walk our clients through all of their options when facing criminal charges. In many cases, a full-throated defense in front of a jury at a criminal trial is the best option. In other cases, exploring options in a plea negotiation may lead to the best result. For more information on our firm's approach to federal criminal charges, please visit our website.