There is no question that the penalties tied to a criminal conviction can be serious. The magnitude of a conviction will vary widely depending on the crime one is accused of. In the most serious situations in addition to hefty fines prison time could be ordered. While these consequences are major at the state level, when a conviction is in a federal court it is even more serious and could even include mandatory minimum sentences.
Individuals facing federal criminal charges may think that any criminal defense lawyer can handle the case. The reality however is that there is a different system in place for these types of cases and for the best result you want someone who understands that system and has worked in it previously.
An example of a situation where someone might be charged with a crime at the federal level is weapons charges. One of the reasons that weapons cases can be so complicated is that they often overlap with conspiracy charges and drug crimes.
If you are facing a criminal charge, regardless of what it is, the sooner you take action to defend yourself, the better. In many cases this may mean contacting a criminal defense lawyer at the investigation stage, before charges are even filed. When you think about how much you may have at stake this likely makes sense.
Even when taking action early does not prevent charges from being filed or avoid a conviction, it may nonetheless still result in a less serious outcome. For more information on building a defense for a federal crime such as those involving weapons charges please see our website.