Fort Lauderdale Federal Crime Lawyer
Do you know what you are up against if you are charged with a federal crime?
A federal crimes charge means that you are not just dealing with state or local law enforcement — you are dealing with an agency like the FBI, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the Criminal Investigation division of the IRS, the DEA or even the U.S. Secret Service. These agencies have the sophisticated technology, highly trained personnel and far-reaching authority that enable the prosecution to build a strong case. Contact our Fort Lauderdale federal crime lawyer for more information and assistance today.
Defending against a federal criminal offense
Fort Lauderdale federal criminal defense lawyer, Kevin Kulik, has been defending clients charged with federal offenses since 1989. In most cases, federal crimes are legally more complex than state crimes and, in addition to resources, the U.S. attorney has specific skills geared toward prosecuting these offenses. Our federal crime lawyers are familiar with federal rules of evidence and criminal and trial procedure. We know how the government has built its case and when it is appropriate to reach an advantageous settlement — or when going to trial is in your best interest.
Different types of federal crimes
Federal crimes are defined by the U.S. Congress and may be either felonies or misdemeanors. The types of crimes we most commonly see and work with include:
- Financial crimes: Often referred to as white collar crimes, these usually involve cheating people or businesses out of money or property. Embezzlement, money laundering, internet crimes, counterfeiting, price manipulation, bribery and various types of fraud are all considered white collar crimes and are aggressively prosecuted by the federal government.
- Violations of the Controlled Substances Act: Federal drug crimes fall under this act and generally include drug trafficking, or the transporting of controlled substances over state lines or importation from outside U.S. borders. Possession, manufacture and distribution of controlled substances may also fall under federal jurisdiction.
- Firearms offenses: You may be in violation of federal laws and face weapons charges for the interstate transportation of firearms, trafficking of firearms, possession of a non-registered firearm, possession of restricted ammunition or possession of a weapon if you are a convicted felon.
What is a Federal Crime and How Does it Differ From a Florida State Criminal Offense?
Understanding what is at stake in a federal case
What is a federal crime? In a nutshell, it is a criminal act that is committed on federal land — such as a national park, federal building or, in some cases, on an Indian reservation — or that crosses state lines or that was made illegal by the U.S. Congress.
If you have been charged with or are under investigation for a federal offense, the law enforcement agency in charge of your case may be the FBI, the ATF, the Secret Service, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the DEA, the U.S. Marshals Service or the Criminal Investigation branch of the IRS. These agencies have the authority and the ability to investigate crimes that may have occurred in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County or anywhere in Florida but that fall under federal jurisdiction. Kevin J. Kulik, P.A. can help if you are faced with this situation.
Fines for conviction of a federal crime can be as high as $250,000 and may be in addition to restitution. Many convictions also include as many as 30 years of incarceration at a federal penitentiary. Contact our Fort Lauderdale federal criminal lawyer for more information.
How hard is it to defend against state crimes versus federal crimes?
In addition to the broad reach of the investigative agencies, federal crimes are handled by U.S. attorneys who are responsible for prosecuting criminal cases brought by the federal government and who also have the extraordinary financial resources of the government at their disposal.
You may have been under investigation for months or more, giving federal prosecutors ample time to develop strategies based on significant evidence collected by these agencies.
State crimes, including criminal traffic violations, DUIs, assault, domestic violence, burglary and sexual battery, are investigated by local police or officers of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Depending on the offense and where it happened, trials are held at a county or state court, or even traffic court.
In addition to resources and types of crimes handled, there are vast procedural differences between the two courts. While a majority of federal criminal defense attorneys also practice state criminal defense, not every state crimes lawyer can practice in a U.S. court. When choosing an attorney to represent you, it is important to find out as much as you can about their experience in the federal court system. The lawyer should have worked on the same type of case for which you are being charged or investigated, whether it is:
- Fraud, including wire fraud, mail fraud, Internet fraud, credit card fraud, healthcare fraud or check fraud
- Counterfeiting goods, money or documents
- Receiving, possessing or distributing child pornography
- Violating RICO statutes, including money laundering
- Federal weapons crimes
- Federal drugs crimes
- Human trafficking and alien smuggling
- Bank robbery
When should you contact a federal crimes lawyer?
At Kevin J. Kulik, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, we have experience with all phases of the federal criminal trial process. It is important that you get immediate help from an experienced federal criminal defense attorney if:
- You have received a federal subpoena. This means you are ordered to testify before a grand jury in federal court. Our first step is to find out whether you are the target or subject of an investigation or are being called as a witness.
- You have been issued a federal warrant. The government has far-reaching authority — but it is still bound by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution granting the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” We challenge search and seizure warrants to help protect your rights.
- You are being questioned by federal agents. You have the right to legal counsel no matter who is questioning you — and that includes the FBI and other federal law enforcement entities.
What to do if you have been charged with or believe you are under investigation for a Fort Lauderdale federal crime
It is imperative that you get immediate, experienced legal representation if you even think you are being scrutinized by the federal government for a federal criminal offense. Kevin J. Kulik, P.A. offers a free initial consultation. Discuss your needs and concerns in confidence with Fort Lauderdale federal crime lawyer Kevin Kulik. To schedule a time to talk, please contact us online or call us at 954-761-9411. We can arrange meetings after business hours or at a location away from our office, if necessary.