San Jose Federal Crimes Lawyer
Were you charged with a federal crime in San Jose, California? If convicted, you could face severe penalties, including federal prison time and collateral consequences that affect your life forever.
When there’s so much at stake, it’s crucial to have experienced legal representation on your side advocating for your rights. Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law is here when you need us.
Our San Jose federal crimes lawyers have over 30 years of combined experience protecting the accused and ensuring they’re treated fairly. We’ve successfully defended over 50 trials and won over 3,000 cases.
Contact our San Jose, CA law office as soon as possible AT (408) 217-8818 to discuss the federal charges against you. The quicker we get started, the better your chances of securing the most favorable outcome in your case. We offer a free and confidential consultation, so schedule yours today.
How Our San Jose Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help If You’ve Been Charged With a Federal Crime
Federal prosecutors are highly skilled, and they likely have been investigating you for months if you’ve been formally charged. If you’ve been accused of violating federal law or are being investigated by a federal agency, you need to act quickly to build an effective defense.
The best way to protect yourself is to hire an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The legal team at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law will listen to your story and determine the best course of action based on the facts of your case. We’re passionate about defending people’s rights and preserving their freedom.
If you hire our San Jose federal crimes attorneys for assistance, we’ll:
- Conduct our own investigation into your federal case and evaluate the prosecution’s evidence against you
- Explain your legal rights and options throughout the case and ensure you understand the consequences of any decisions you face
- Work to have your case resolved prior to indictment by a grand jury if you haven’t already been indicted
- Gather exculpatory evidence and build a defense tailored to the facts of your case
- If necessary, work with the federal prosecutor to have your charges dropped or negotiate a favorable plea bargain
- Argue your case in federal court if we think it’s in your best interest
Government prosecutors want convictions and work hard to get them. We’ll relentlessly defend you to make it as tough as possible for them to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Contact us today for a free case assessment.
What Is a Federal Crime?
A federal crime can be any of the following:
- A violation of Title 18 of the US Code, which contains the federal government’s criminal laws
- A crime committed on federal property, such as a national park or federal building
- A crime committed against a government official
- Crimes committed across state lines
- Immigration violations
These criminal matters are typically investigated by federal agencies, such as:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
- Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Federal investigations typically go on for months before the government files formal charges. That’s why it’s essential to seek legal representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a federal crime.
What Is the Difference Between State and Federal Crimes?
Most crimes are prosecuted at the state level after someone is accused of violating state law. They’re investigated by local law enforcement or state agencies and handled by state prosecutors. The State of California has criminal courts with their own procedures to hear these cases. If convicted of a state-level criminal offense, defendants face time in a local jail or state prison or lesser penalties such as probation or fines.
Federal crimes are investigated by federal government agencies and handled by federal prosecutors (United States Attorneys). Federal courts have jurisdiction over these matters, and they follow different criminal procedures than state courts. If convicted of a federal crime, defendants face time in a federal penitentiary.
Some crimes can be tried at either the state or federal levels (or both).
What Types of Offenses Are Federal Crimes?
All types of crimes can be charged as federal crimes, including:
- Insider trading
- Money laundering
- Mail fraud
- Tax evasion and tax fraud
- Wire fraud
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Identity theft
- Computer crimes, such as hacking
- Witness intimidation
- Assaulting a government official
- Sex trafficking
- Child pornography
- Drug trafficking and other drug crimes
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Child abuse
- Child exploitation
- Weapons charges
As you can see, federal crimes can range from white-collar crimes to violent offenses. No matter what type of federal crime you’ve been accused of committing, our criminal defense attorneys in San Jose can help.
What Are the Penalties If I’m Convicted of a Federal Crime in California?
Similar to state-level crimes, federal crimes can be categorized as misdemeanors or felonies. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines will typically dictate your punishment if you are convicted of a federal crime. That means federal judges frequently have less discretion when determining a sentence than state court judges unless they depart from the guidelines due to mitigating or aggravating factors.
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines include a table containing six criminal history categories and 43 offense levels. The range of possible penalties will be based on where the defendant’s offense falls on the sentencing table.
The criminal history category is based on the defendant’s criminal record and how recently the crimes were committed. Category I is for the least serious criminal histories, whereas Category VI is for defendants with extensive criminal backgrounds.
Each federal offense has a base offense level. For example, insider trading has a base level offense level of 8, whereas first-degree murder has a base offense level of 43.
However, the base level is just a starting point. The final offense level is calculated by reducing or raising the base level based on specific offense characteristics and other adjustments.
Specific Offense Characteristics
Some federal offenses in the sentencing guidelines may have “specific offense characteristics.” If so, the guidelines will dictate whether to increase or decrease the base offense level.
- Kidnapping has a base offense level of 32. However, if the victim was sexually exploited, the guidelines indicate to increase it by 6 levels.
- Assault has a base level offense of 7 if it involves physical contact. The guidelines say to increase that by 2 levels if the victim sustained bodily injury.
There are also general adjustments, which we discuss next.
General Adjustments When Evaluating the Offense Level
General adjustments to consider under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines when determining the final offense level are:
- Victim-related adjustments, such as if the offense was a hate crime or human rights offense
- The defendant’s role in the offense, such as if they were in a position of trust
- Whether the defendant engaged in obstruction of justice
- Whether the defendant was charged with multiple counts
- Whether the defendant accepts responsibility for the crime
These adjustments may increase or decrease the base level, depending on the facts.
Deviations from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Federal judges must typically follow the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
However, they can consider whether aggravating or mitigating factors exist, such as:
- The defendant’s history and characteristics
- The nature of the offense
- Whether the sentence should be imposed to deter similar actions in the future, protect the public, reflect the severity of the offense, and provide the defendant treatment or training
- The available sentences
- Whether the victim of the crime needs restitution
- Any applicable policy statements
- The need to avoid sentencing disparities between defendants who were found guilty of similar crimes
If a federal judge determines that any of these factors – known as Section 3553(a) factors – exist, they must explain their reasoning for deviating from the guidelines.
Penalties Imposed Based on the Sentencing Table
Once the final offense level is determined, the sentencing table will indicate the punishment. For example, someone with little to no criminal history (Category I) and an offense level of 1 may face 0-6 months in prison or probation. The most serious offenders who commit level 43 offenses face life imprisonment.
These guidelines are complicated. We’ll work to help you understand the charges against you and the potential penalties you could face.
How Can I Defend Myself If I’m Facing Federal Criminal Charges?
Depending on the federal charges against you, one or more of the following defenses may apply in your case:
- Violations of your constitutional rights, such as illegal searches, seizures, or arrest
- Procedural flaws in the investigative or procedural process
- Lack of evidence proving your criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt
- False allegations
- Mistaken identity
- Lack of requisite intent
- Misconduct, such as tampering with evidence
We’ll evaluate the evidence against you and determine defenses that could apply. Contact us today to get started.
Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law To Speak With an Experienced San Jose Federal Crimes Lawyer
Whether you’re being investigated for or charged with a federal crime in San Jose, CA, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney quickly to protect your legal rights. Your future is at stake, and without a knowledgeable and skilled legal advocate fighting for you, you could be looking at severe penalties.
Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law today for a free consultation to discuss your federal case. We’ll evaluate the charges and create a winning defense strategy to get you the best possible results. Learn more by calling our San Jose law firm today.