Manassas Federal Criminal Attorney
All Commonwealth criminal charges are serious, but federal indictments are especially ominous. Federal law enforcement is well known for its thoroughness in investigating criminal allegations, its prosecutorial aggression, and its statutory punishments for convicts. Because of this very efficient and punitive legal process, and the outcomes it commonly produces, all who are suspected of violating our national laws certainly need to consult a Manassas federal criminal lawyer the moment they are charged with, or suspected of, committing a federal felony so that they may begin to prepare a defense.
Manassas Federal Charges
Federal prison sentences are often much harsher than their state equivalents. Fines of six or seven figures are not uncommon. And depending on the offense, forfeiture of assets and personal property is standard practice. Plus, those convicted of any federal crime must pay not only full restitution to their theft victims, they must also reimburse the U.S. Attorney for the money it spent on the trial that put them in prison.
But federal charges are not a slam-dunk conviction, even if things look dark for the accused. An experienced Manassas federal criminal lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome for those faced with the following charges.
This is deliberate deception with the intent to cause damage, usually financial. It is commonly referred to as a “white-collar crime.” There are several forms of federal fraud; the most commonly charged include the following:
- Bankruptcy fraud [18 US Code Section 157], which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
- Credit card fraud can take many forms, depending on the method. Much of it takes place on the Internet, thereby subjecting it to federal identity theft statutes [18 US Code Section 1028] and/or computer fraud statutes [18 US Code Section 1030].
- Healthcare fraud [18 US Code Section 1347] involves defrauding public as well as private insurers. Most cases arise when doctors or other healthcare providers (or insurance companies) defraud federal Medicare or Medicaid programs. But victims can also be private insurers. Patients and private citizens can commit healthcare fraud as well. Penalties include 10 years’ mandatory minimum imprisonment, high fines, and restitution making it a good idea to contact a Manassas federal criminal lawyer if accused.
- Income tax fraud occurs when suspects willfully file fraudulent tax returns in order avoid paying their lawful tax. Penalties include $100,000 fines for private citizens ($500,000 for corporations) and up to five years in prison [26 US Code Section 7201].
Similar crimes include mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud and telemarketing fraud.
Conspiracy is defined as “two or more persons working together to commit any offense” or to defraud any victim, including the federal government or any government agency [18 US Code Section 371]. In many conspiracy cases, defendants will claim they did not know one existed, that they intended to commit a criminal act together, or that they did not actively participate in a conspiracy. This can make federal criminal conspiracy prosecution quite difficult.
The maximum penalty is five years in prison, but it is often combined with the original crime that the conspirators committed or attempted. A Manassas federal criminal lawyer can tell you more about the specific penalties you may be facing.
Bribery of any government official is addressed in 18 US Code Section 201. It extensively defines bribery and the harsh penalties that await convicted suspects. Conviction on a single bribery count can produce fines as high as triple the amount of the bribe, up to 15 years in prison, and disqualification from holding any future public office. Federal bribery laws punish both those who offer or receive a bribe. And even if the bribe is never completed, proving one was attempted by either party is enough to warrant a guilty verdict.
This is another form of white-collar theft that commonly happens when a person, such as an accountant, banker, trustee, or some other third party is entrusted to manage, monitor or invest assets on behalf of their owner, but then this person covertly misappropriates them for their personal use.
Punishments vary, depending on many factors, defendants, and the specific embezzlement allegation [18 US Code Section 31]. Those who embezzle more than $1,000 can be fined $250,000, imprisoned for up to ten years, or both.
Distribution, Trafficking, and Manufacture/Cultivation of Dangerous Drugs
Federal drug offenses are prosecuted and sentenced under Title 21, Chapter 13, Subchapter 21, Part D of the U.S. Criminal Code. Charges usually culminate after lengthy, multi-agency investigations that involve the FBI and DEA and state and local law enforcement. Penalties can be up to life in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
Most cases of identity theft are associated with attempts to wrongfully obtain credit or unlawfully use a person’s assets. Federal identity theft occurs when the suspects’ offenses are committed on an interstate or global level, or if there is a multi-jurisdictional conspiracy present. Penalties can range from a year in prison to over 20, depending on the circumstances of the crime. Contact a Manassas federal criminal lawyer if you’ve been charged as aggravated identity theft, under 18 U.S.C 1028A, carries a mandatory two-year sentence.
Federal law prohibits “possession, receipt, distribution, copying, or advertising of images containing sexual portrayals of minors” (less than 18 years of age) [18 U.S. Code Sections 2251, 2252 and 2256]. Images of minors performing sexual acts can bring federal child pornography charges. Mandatory minimum prison sentences come with all child pornography convictions. And enhanced penalties for underlying federal crimes can be added to a sentence that could result in life in prison. Registration as a sex offender is mandatory for all who are convicted of any federal child pornography offense [42 U.S. Code Chapter 151(1)].
Finding a Manassas Federal Criminal Lawyer
Due to the severity involved with federal charges, it is in the best interest of those accused to contact an experienced Manassas federal criminal lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will be able to look at the specific facts surrounding your case and create the best defense possible. If you are facing federal charges in Manassas, a Manassas federal criminal lawyer can advocate on your behalf and make sure the harm of your charge is minimized. Call today for a free consultation.