Federal Criminal Lawyer Near Me St. Louis. Being accused of a federal crime by a federal law enforcement agency is nothing short of scary. When you or someone you love are charged with a federal crime, it is critical to your future that you take the matter seriously and take action right away. While it may be easier to do so, this is not the time to procrastinate. If you are being charged with a crime in federal court in Missouri, seek out the help of a federal criminal lawyer near St. Louis right away.
Combs Waterkotte is a forceful, client-tailored criminal defense firm in the St. Louis area. Our firm has a federal criminal lawyer near St. Louis ready to personally take on your case and build a smart, sound defense to best protect your rights and maintain your freedom. Our state and federal criminal defense lawyers near St. Louis have successfully had many of our clients’ cases reduced or dismissed entirely. When that is not an option, we advise our clients on the best legal decisions and utilize a strategy to minimize the sentence. Speak to a federal criminal attorney near you in St. Louis today. Call us at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online now.
Understanding the Difference Between State and Federal Charges
There are both notable similarities and differences between criminal charges in state and federal courts. Many crimes, in fact, are considered crimes at both the state and federal levels.
The United States established federal criminal courts to uphold federal law. There are now thousands of statutes listing various federal criminal offenses that make up Title 18 of the United States Code, which is the country’s federal criminal code. Crimes at the federal level includes everything from violent offenses such as murder and robbery to more clerical or “white collar” crimes like fraud and embezzlement. Federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA and IRS enforce various criminal laws within the U.S. Code and the U.S. Attorney’s office prosecutes these criminal allegations in federal criminal court.
A few key differences you need to understand when dealing with a federal criminal case:
- crimes prosecuted: Though there is considerable overlap, the laws of what is considered a crime by federal law versus Missouri state courts differ. Criminal charges that will be pursued in federal court include those alleging that the individual engaged in unlawful conduct on federal grounds, across state lines or international boarders, against a federal agent, or any that violate federal law.
- sentencing guidelines: Sentencing guidelines, or lawful punishments for criminal convictions, in federal court are nearly always more severe than state penal code. That means that the stakes are usually higher when facing a criminal case in federal court.
- resources: This is the federal government. Federal agencies do not experience lack of funding in the way that many state and local governments do. Federal agencies have great means at their disposal, including top training and education programs, funding and other resources critical to prosecutors building a case.
- elite personnel: Many federal agents are considered some of the best law enforcement agents among their peers. Competition for these federal agency positions is fierce, and these agents typically take their jobs very seriously.
Being charged with a federal crime by a state or U.S. law enforcement agency is a big deal, but it does not have to mean that life as you know it is over forever. If you believe you know what to expect because you have faced state criminal charges in the past, think again. The stakes and the procedures in federal court are much different. Protect yourself immediately. Contact experienced federal criminal attorneys with Combs Waterkotte right away. Reach our federal lawyers now at (314) 900-HELP.
Types of Federal Cases We Defend: Combs Waterkotte Federal Criminal Lawyers in St. Louis
Our criminal defense attorneys in St. Louis and surrounding areas have expertise in a wide range of criminal charges. Your federal criminal lawyer with Combs Waterkotte tackles your case with the utmost dedication and fervor. Combining our compassion and dedication with our astuteness and winning defense skills, we are the federal criminal lawyers best suited to protect your rights in your criminal case, for charges including but not limited to:
- Drug charges
- Firearm / Weapons charges
- Sex crimes
- Identity theft
- White collar crimes
- Internet crimes
Learn more about your legal situation and our experience handling federal criminal cases like yours by contacting us today. Call (314) 900-HELP to consult a federal criminal lawyer near St. Louis today.
Defenses for Federal Charges
The practice and process of defending against criminal accusations in federal criminal court is entirely different from the state criminal process. There are rules about when and how certain defenses can be used and whether they will be allowed.
Federal criminal court defenses fall into one of four categories: notice and pretrial defenses, affirmative defenses, specific intent defenses, and special federal defenses.
- Notice and pretrial defense – defenses that can only be used if a case meets certain requirements or the defense is approved in a hearing
- Public authority
- Outrageous government conduct
- Vindictive prosecution
- Selective prosecution
- Affirmative defenses – defenses that the defendant must prove to the affirmative; if such a claim is true it would negate criminal liability
- Battered spouse’s syndrome
- Defense of others
- Defense of property
- Voluntary intoxication
- Statutory defenses
- Specific intent defenses – some actions are only considered crimes if done with criminal intent (i.e. murder), so disproving that you acted with the specific intent given in federal criminal law disproves your guilt regarding the allegation
- Negating mens rea (criminal knowledge or intent)
- Good faith
- Advice of counsel
- Applying mens rea to all elements of the offense
- Special federal defenses – defenses designed for specific cases that do not fall under another category
Ultimately, your Combs Waterkotte federal criminal lawyer near St. Louis will build a tailored defense for your federal criminal case. We will use the full force of our law firm’s recourses to thoroughly investigate your case and the circumstances of your arrest. We will look to ensure that your rights were not violated during any step of the process and if they were, we will protect you. We will identify weaknesses or shortcomings in the prosecution’s case or any procedural mistakes and expose them to invalidate their allegations.
Perhaps most importantly, your St. Louis federal criminal attorney from Combs Waterkotte will be transparent and honest with you. If the prosecutorial evidence is substantial and was legally obtained and the prosecutor is able to prove all elements of the criminal charge(s) against you, the best option may be to try to get the charges reduced or agree to a plea bargain. We will fight tooth and nail for your freedom and will provide sound, realistic counsel throughout your case to get the best possible outcome for you.
Penalties and Potential Outcomes in Federal Criminal Cases
Sentencing in criminal cases in federal court are shaped by the suggested punishments offered by the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual. These are suggestions or guidelines, not legal requirements, and in some cases applicable federal statutes will dictate additional penalties or minimum sentencing requirements.
Each case is unique and you must speak with your trusted federal criminal lawyer near St. Louis about the specifics of your case and what the most likely outcomes might be. However, you should take your federal criminal case seriously; the punishments can be severe. With an experienced and skilled federal criminal attorney on your side, you may be able to avoid certain convictions or punishments or trade them out in favor of lesser charges.
Keeping in mind that there are many factors that go into sentencing in federal criminal cases, some potential outcomes you may be facing include:
- Fines — fines against individuals and corporations in federal criminal cases can be unmanageably hefty
- Probation — supervision can be an alternative to a prison sentence; exact terms of your probation will be set by your judge and successful completion of probation can protect you against incarceration
- Federal imprisonment — federal prison sentence terms vary, but are typically longer than similar state sentences; in 2016, those convicted of a mandatory minimum penalty were sentenced to an average 110 months (~9 years) of imprisonment
- Restitution and other financial penalties — in some federal criminal cases, the defendant may be made to pay restitution, recoupments, or other financial penalties; used in some cases for financial crimes often in addition to other punishments
- Other — some case-specific special types of penalties, such as exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid
You must take your federal criminal charges seriously, but do not panic. Because the punishments for federal crimes are often severe and mandatory minimum sentencing can be unforgiving, it becomes as critical as ever to find capable legal representation in your federal criminal case. A skilled federal criminal attorney near St. Louis can carefully craft a cunning, infallible defense against the allegations you face. When you hire a criminal defense lawyer right away and being honest with us, we can help you get the best possible outcome in your federal criminal case, whether it’s getting all charges against you dropped or minimizing your sentence.
Do I Need a Federal Criminal Lawyer?
Yes. You absolutely need a defense attorney to defend your case and protect your rights in federal criminal court. Whether you have just learned you are being investigated by a federal agency or have been indicted for federal crimes, it is important that you consult a federal criminal attorney you can trust right away.
A federal defense attorney is a must if you hope to level the playing field. An everyday citizen, regardless of how intelligent or educated you are, is no match for federal agents and law enforcement agencies pursuing charges against you. With strict punishments and immense resources at their disposal, you have a lot more to lose than the federal government does in your federal criminal case.
A trained federal defense lawyer with experience winning criminal cases like yours can give you the representation you deserve and are entitled to when accused of a crime. Speak with a federal criminal lawyer near St. Louis you can trust to stand by your side and fight for your freedom. Call (314) 900-HELP to talk to a federal defense lawyer near St. Louis right away.
Hire a Federal Criminal Lawyer Near St. Louis | Combs Waterkotte
Facing any criminal charges can induce significant anxiety, and rightly so. Those accused of crimes often see their rights violated, and most of them aren’t even aware of the offense. Federal crimes follow federal penal law, and the penalties for federal criminal convictions are generally much higher than at the state level. The stakes are high enough in a state case, but when accused of a crime in federal court, you must hire an accomplished, capable, trusted federal criminal lawyer right away.
To put off hiring a defense attorney for your federal criminal case is to do yourself a huge disservice. You need and deserve qualified legal representation and counsel against your federal criminal allegations. Though it can be scary to think about, you must take swift action and enlist the help of a qualified and committed federal criminal defense lawyer right away. Contact Combs Waterkotte now at (314) 900-HELP or online.