Many criminal charges that are common in Texas, like DWI or assault, are prosecuted under state law. However, in some cases, you could also face prosecution under federal law. Federal prosecutors typically focus on large scale criminal activity or financial crimes that impact large amounts of money, which means the number of cases they bring is low compared to state prosecutors. That said, if you face prosecution for a federal crime, the potential sentence is generally much more substantial than for a state crime.
If you face federal charges in the Houston area, through Texas or the United States, it is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. Attorney Doug Murphy has a track record of success in federal court. To discuss your case, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. right away.
Grand Jury & Prosecution in Federal Court
When you are arrested for a federal crime, the prosecutor handling your case will take it before a grand jury in short order. Each grand jury contains at least 16 but no more than 23 people. A grand jury proceeding is private, and your lawyer has a limited role in the process. You do have the right to testify, however, this is a risky proposition because anything you say could be used against you at trial in some situations. It is unwise to testify at a grand jury before seeking counsel from an experienced defense attorney.
It is not the role of the grand jury to decide your guilt but to determine if the federal government has enough evidence to take you to trial. This is a much lower bar than what's required to convict a person at trial.
If the grand jury brings charges against you, the next step is your initial hearing. At this hearing, you will appear before a magistrate, where you will be informed of the charges against you. The next hearing is known as the arraignment, where you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, your case may lead to a trial. A trial could represent your best chance for beating the charges against you.
Common Federal Offenses
Federal crimes involve criminal activity across a broad spectrum. Some common examples of federal crimes include:
- White Collar Crimes, including fraud, conspiracy, and RICO violations
- Obstruction of justice
- Immigration offenses
- Money laundering
- Interstate drug possession
- Drug trafficking or conspiracy
- Internet crimes
- Federal weapons charges
- Mail fraud.
Each of these charges carries significant sentences. In many cases, they could cost you your freedom for the rest of your life. There is a lot at stake in a federal prosecution, which makes it crucial that you seek the guidance of a skilled attorney.
Why Hire a Houston Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
Attorney Doug Murphy is an experienced, aggressive federal criminal defense attorney who is board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. When taking on a federal case, he understands the differences between these charges and state crimes. His experience and skill could assist you with building a winning defense at trial. There is no value in delaying your selection of a defense attorney: call the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. right away to get started on your defense.