What to Look For in a Federal Crimes Defense Lawyer

What to Look For in a Federal Crimes Defense Lawyer

Some people may think that the only difference between a criminal defense lawyer who handles federal cases and one who handles state cases is the courtroom they practice in. However, this assumption could lead to unfortunate consequences if you are facing federal charges.

The stakes are usually much higher in federal cases. Federal prosecutors usually only pursue serious charges that result in significant penalties. And if you find yourself in such a situation, you want an experienced criminal defense attorney who possesses the following traits.

Licensed to Practice in Federal Court

Before an attorney can argue your case at trial, they need to be admitted to the bar association for the federal court where your case is being tried. While most lawyers can get licensed relatively quickly, it is best to be represented by a lawyer who already is a member of that bar.

Knowledge of Federal Laws and Sentencing Guidelines

A good knowledge of federal laws is a critical trait in any criminal defense lawyer. Federal prosecutors work with federal laws on a daily basis, and they have whole departments to help them with details. This represents a distinct advantage.

The best choice for a federal defense attorney is a lawyer like John Freeman, who was previously a federal prosecutor. Lawyers with this background know federal laws backward and forwards, which will allow you to present the best case in court.

Additionally, you should consider hiring an attorney who understands federal sentencing guidelines and laws. These lawyers have an advantage in negotiating plea deals.

Excellent Communication Skills

While it is great for your lawyer to have a good working knowledge of federal laws, that only helps if they can effectively explain those laws and the legal process to you. Some questions you should ask are:

  • Can they explain difficult concepts in a way that you can understand?
  • Do they listen to you and your concerns about the case?
  • Do they answer your questions, preferably before you ask them?
  • Are they able to explain your legal options and give you advice that is easy to follow?

It doesn’t matter how good the attorney is in the courtroom if they don’t earn your trust in their office.

Investigative Resources

Federal cases usually involve complex issues. For example, a money laundering case may require an in-depth understanding of advanced accounting. You need a lawyer who has access to resources that can support your case, however complicated it may be.

Typically, this means you need a lawyer who has the right connections to get expert witnesses who can support your defense. They also need to work with investigators who can potentially uncover information that is well hidden or even possibly in another country.

The federal government has the resources to complete these types of investigations. Working with a criminal defense attorney who has the right experience and contacts is the best way to match that.

Talk to a Potential Attorney Before Making a Decision

If you are facing federal criminal charges, you are probably looking at potential prison time. Choosing the right attorney is critical. Before making any decision, talk to potential lawyers to determine whether they have the traits you need.