Being accused of a federal crime is undoubtedly serious, regardless of how old you are and what the crime is. If found guilty, this charge will likely have a dramatic, lasting impact on your life and those around you. With this in mind, it is of the utmost importance that you take the time to understand what the charges against you are, and what your rights are. In the United States, anyone who is charged with a crime is presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise. When a case is federal – as opposed to state or local – it is because the U.S. Attorney’s Office has brought the charges. There are numerous different crimes that fall under the ‘federal’ label, including the following:
- Larceny and theft
- Aggravated assault
- Motor vehicle theft
- Forcible rape
- Murder and negligent manslaughter
- Computer hacking
- Obstruction of justice
Keep in mind that each specific case is different and the charges and prosecution will depend on a host of factors. Furthermore, federal crimes are quite different than state crimes and are typically far more complex than many other types of charges. In most cases, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will work in conjunction with different federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, DEA, and IRS to develop their cases. Because of this, it is absolutely imperative that anyone accused of committing a federal crime retains the services of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
Here now are a few important tips for anyone accused of a federal crime:
- Choose a criminal lawyer immediately – This is especially important if you are wrongfully accused of a federal crime. Choosing the right criminal lawyer for your specific case is crucial, as this will be the person (or team of lawyers) who will be with you throughout the entire legal process. It is a good idea to choose an attorney that specializes in the charges brought against you and that lives in your area.
- Understand the bail process – If you or a loved one is facing federal charges, keep in mind that they cannot be bailed out until they appear in court. The initial court appearance is a critical step, as this is when the bail amount will be determined by the U.S. Magistrate. This recommendation is typically based on the accused individual’s background and the nature of the criminal offense.
- Know what may be required of you following your arrest and release from custody – If you have been charged with a federal crime, the court system may impose a series of pretrial conditions, which will depend on the nature of the charges you are facing. Some of the conditions of your release from custody may include:
- Give up all passports
- Limit your ability to travel outside the jurisdiction of the federal court
- Give up any firearms held in your home
- Abstain from alcohol and drug use
- Adhere to a set curfew
- Do not loiter in specific areas or institutions
- Be monitored by a GPS tracking device
These just some of the stipulations you may have to abide by, should you be accused of a federal crime. Again, it is important to note that charges and specifics vary from state to state. To learn more about federal charges in Oklahoma, please contact a criminal defense attorney from Atkins & Markoff today. Our lawyers are well-versed in these types of cases and are prepared to go over the charges you are facing today and come up with a smart defense strategy that will have your best interests in mind.