Houston Federal Crime Attorney
Federal crimes are illegal criminal acts as defined by the U.S. government. Other than the three mentioned in the U.S. Constitution (counterfeiting, piracy, and treason) they are generally defined by statutes as contained within Title 18 of the United States Code, However, there are literally thousands upon thousands of federal criminal laws spread out throughout the statutory and regulatory body of federal law. During the 1990s the American Bar Association had difficulty counting them all. And the numbers continue to grow. More disturbingly, an increasing number do not require a criminal intent by the accused.
Generally, federal crimes include offenses that occur on federal property such as military bases, Indian reservations, federal buildings and the U.S. Post Office and crimes arising from the federal government's power under the commerce clause. Federal investigations of one matter may be expansive and lead to charges seemingly unrelated to the initial scope of investigation.
Under federal investigation?
It is a federal crime under 18 U.S.C. 1001, to make a false statement to or conceal information from a federal official by oral affirmation, written statement or mere denial. 18 U.S.C. 1001. Ask Martha Stewart; that's what she was convicted of and sent to federal prison for. Federal investigations can be very intimidating and a person may feel compelled to answer questions by federal officials who may show up at one's home or place of business or invite one down to their office to talk. Simply because someone isn't wearing a uniform doesn't mean they have your best interest at heart. They're probably not coming to see you because they have extra time on their hands. Every American has an absolute right to assert their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. It may upset the government - but it's supposed to, it makes it harder for them to get incriminating statements and convictions.
It is always important to remember when dealing with any government investigation - it's their job to get people to say things they'll regret later. It's their job to build cases. It's not your job to help them beyond your basic identifying information. They're experts at what they do and they're probably very good at it or they wouldn't work for the federal government. The people who work in federal law enforcement are generally are much better educated, trained, and more experienced than their counterparts in local government. They also have virtually unlimited resources. They are the "A Team." Don't go it alone. Federal cases can involve many different types of government agencies, including the:
- U.S. Secret Service
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF)
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service (Postal Inspectors)
If you have been contacted by federal officials or law enforcement you should contact experienced counsel to protect your rights. You may not get another chance to handle it correctly.
Have you been charged with a federal crime?
An arrest for a federal crime is extremely serious and can result in penalties such as imprisonment, heavy fines and restitution. Federal inmates serve the vast majority of any term of confinement they are sentenced to, followed by a period of supervised release. Shortly after almost any arrest for a federal crime a detention hearing may be held during which counsel for the accused may have an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses against the Defendant as well as have a reasonable bond set. Bail and pre-trial release are not available in all federal crimes.
Federal criminal cases in the Greater-Houston Area usually are prosecuted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas by the local U.S. Attorney's Office. They are governed by local rules as well as the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and Federal Rules of Evidence. While these bodies of law may be foreign to the accused, they shouldn't be to his or her lawyer.
Many times a person charged with a federal crime is also charged with a violation of similar state laws. There is no violation of the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy because the State of Texas and the U.S. Government are "separate sovereigns."
If you have been charged with a federal crime in Southeast Texas, contact a Houston criminal attorney as soon as possible. The government can spend months investigating a federal offense before an indictment is issued. If the case goes to court, the prosecution will have access to significant resources when seeking a conviction. It's important that you have an attorney on your side experienced in federal cases and knowledgeable about federal criminal law and procedure.
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer in Houston, TX
Federal offenses cover a range of crimes, including immigration violations, weapons violations, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and bank robbery. They are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The Law Office of Q. Tate Williams PC is an established criminal defense firm that has over 10 years of litigation experience in local, state and federal court. My name is Tate and I can provide the qualified legal representation you will need when addressing federal charges. I am a resourceful and tough defense attorney that will vigorously attack the prosecution's case and protect your rights and freedom.
Contact a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer at my office if you are facing federal charges for reliable legal advice and dedicated representation.