MINNEAPOLIS CRIMINAL & VETERANS DEFENSE
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Minneapolis Federal Crimes Attorneys

Defending Those Accused of Federal Offenses

Federal crime allegations are serious. Officials from agencies such as the FBI, DEA, and IRS will spend months gathering evidence to build a case against the accused. Also, a federal prosecutor will work relentlessly to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on the offense, a federal crime conviction can lead to years to life in prison and thousands to millions of dollars in fines. If you are under investigation for or have been charged with a violation, it is essential that you act fast to retain legal representation. Thorough and comprehensive preparation is essential to building a strategic defense.

At Brockton D. Hunter P.A., our federal crimes lawyers in Minneapolis are ready to put in the time and effort necessary to defend you. We have nearly three decades of combined experience and fully understand the federal criminal justice process. When our team takes on a case, we take the time to get to know our clients, listening to their needs, goals, and concerns. We then explain the stages the case may progress through, legal avenues that can be pursued, and potential outcomes. We want to reassure our clients that their case is in capable hands and that we are prepared to do what it takes to seek a just result on their behalf.

Our Minneapolis federal crimes attorneys want to hear your side of the story and defend your innocence. Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (612) 979-1112 or contacting us online.

What Qualifies as a Federal Crime?

Federal crimes are those that violate federal, as opposed to state, laws. In many cases, federal and state statutes are similar in the type of conduct they prohibit. For instance, both Minnesota and the federal government have laws against the possession of child pornography.

What separates state from federal crimes is where or how the offense took place. Because state and federal laws concern similar types of behavior, a person can be prosecuted by the state or federal government, or both. Often, people question whether it is legal for someone to be tried by both state and federal governments because they have a constitutional protection from double jeopardy – they cannot be tried for the same crime twice. However, the clause does not apply to violations falling under both jurisdictions because they are considered separate sovereigns.

Federal vs State Charges

1) If a crime occurs in one state, generally it will be charged as a state crime unless it is distinctly noted as a federal crime. Federal crimes involve specifically denoted federal offenses like mail fraud, IRS violations, kidnapping, damaging or destroying mailboxes, drug trafficking, computer crimes, terrorist threats, or federal sex crimes. Additional charges that are prosecuted in federal courts include treason, piracy, counterfeiting, as well as any violations of securities laws.

The “Supremacy Clause” in the United States constitution explicitly defines that federal law will always have more power than state laws and federal agencies will likely take over the case. Federal agencies that could be involved in a federal case include the FBI, IRS, DEA, or ATF.

2) If a crime happens in one state, no matter the severity of the crime, generally you would be charged with a state crime. All states have provisions for charging and prosecuting crimes that violate state laws, from simple traffic matters to felony charges like murder, drug charges, sex crimes, etc.

3) One of the biggest differences between state and federal charges is how evidence is presented and disclosed. If you are charged with a state crime, you could expect that there may be a few folders of discovery evidence. Federal charges often include a much larger scope of introduction of evidence from multiple federal agencies.

This evidence often includes video evidence, wiretapping audio, various federal agency agent reports and many more witnesses. This is because while the scope of state charges tend to be one area, federal charges are all-encompassing and can include years of monitoring and evidence collection against you.

4) The penalties for federal charges are usually much more drastic than those of state charges.

Federal charges are tried in federal courts, and federal judges use Federal Sentencing Guidelines to decide on sentencing penalties for federal charges. State courts are often guided by state laws and legislation, which can include minimum and maximum sentencing penalties, which allow a judge to decide if the crime fits into a low sentence like probation, or a maximum sentence.

5) The conviction rate when charged with a federal crime versus a state crime is drastic. Federal court conviction percentages are higher than 90 percent, while state conviction rates hold between 45-65% conviction rates in general.

What Crimes Fall Under Federal Jurisdiction?

Because the rules and processes involved in resolving federal cases differ from those for state cases, it is absolutely necessary to have an attorney on your side who is intimately familiar with the federal system. Brockton D. Hunter P.A. has been recognized for our ability to help those charged with criminal offenses We have the skills and experience necessary to effectively handle your case.

We handle a range of federal crimes, including, but not limited to:

  • Sex trafficking (18 U.S.C. § 1591): A federal sex trafficking charge is triggered when an individual knowingly obtains or transports a person aware that they will be forced to engage in a commercial sex act. They can also face accusations if they benefit financially from such conduct.
  • Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371): When two or more people plan to commit a crime against or defraud the U.S., they can be charged with conspiracy. One or more other person involved must have taken some action to further the offense.
  • Mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341): Mail fraud occurs when a person uses the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier to further a fraud scheme.
  • Wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343): A person commits wire fraud when they use electronic communication to carry out a fraud scheme.
  • Bank robbery (18 U.S.C. § 2113): It is unlawful for a person to use force to gain or attempt to gain property or assets under the control of a financial institution.
  • Kidnapping (18 U.S.C. § 1201): Kidnapping occurs when a person abducts another and holds them for ransom.
  • Money laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956): Money laundering is a process in which funds obtained through illegal means are "cleaned" to conceal the source of the gains or avoid reporting requirements.
  • Internet crimes: This term refers to offenses committed online. Such crimes include, but are not limited to, identity theft, spoofing, phishing, child pornography, and hacking.
  • Drug trafficking (21 U.S.C. § 841): This offense involves the manufacture, creation, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled or counterfeit substance.

What Are the Penalties for Federal Crimes Convictions?

The penalties that can be levied for a federal crime conviction are as varied as the offenses themselves. The statutes provide that a court sentence a person to fines and/or incarceration. In some situations, the court must impose mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment.

A few examples of federal crime conviction penalties include:

Sex Trafficking Penalties

  • Committed by using force or on a person under 14 years of age:
    • Between 15 years to life in prison
  • Committed without the use of force and upon someone between 14 and 17 years of age:
    • Between 10 years to life in prison

Conspiracy Penalties

  • Conspiring to commit a felony:
    • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Conspiring to commit a misdemeanor:
    • Up to the maximum penalty for the planned offense

Mail and Wire Fraud Penalties

  • Up to 20 years in prison

Bank Robbery Penalties

  • Up to 20 years in prison

Kidnapping Penalties

  • Up to life in prison
  • Death (if any person died as a result of the offense)

Money Laundering Penalties

  • Up to 20 years in prison

Drug Trafficking Penalties

  • Specific Schedule I or II drugs:
    • Up to 20 years in prison
  • Schedule III drugs:
    • Up to 10 years in prison
  • Schedule IV drugs:
    • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Schedule V drugs:
    • Up to 1 year of incarceration

Note that in addition to the terms of imprisonment listed above, a fine can also be imposed. Additionally, for some offenses, aggravating factors, such as having previous convictions, can lead to enhanced penalties.

Our Minneapolis federal crimes lawyers appreciate the seriousness of a conviction. That is why we are ready to do everything in our legal power to seek an optimal outcome on your behalf.

Providing Skilled Federal Crimes Defense

At Brockton D. Hunter P.A., we leverage our knowledge, skills, and resources to build comprehensive and aggressive defenses to fight charges. If you have been accused, our federal crimes attorneys in Minneapolis are here to provide the effective counsel you need.

Learn more about how we can help by calling (612) 979-1112 or submitting an online contact form today.

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  • Nearly 30 Years of Combined Experience

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