Criminal cases in federal and state courts are both governed by the United States Constitution. However, there are substantial differences between the litigation of federal criminal cases and state-level cases. Federal criminal cases such as securities and investment fraud and cases pertaining to white collar crime require a thorough understanding of the distinct differences in federal law. Failure to discern and prepare for these variances in the two different courts could be the difference between years in prison, a fine, or even freedom.
Federal cases are governed by a distinct set of guidelines that include:
Prosecutions at the state level occur within the confines of their jurisdictions – the state. Federal prosecutors have discretion to pursue cases from anywhere. Federal and state prosecutors alike have the discretion not to pursue a case, depending on various circumstances. Once a decision is made to prosecute a case, federal authorities can put a vast number of resources into the investigation and preparation of their federal case.
During the pretrial discovery procedure, the exchange of information among federal authorities is extensive. Federal authorities have access to a wide range of investigative techniques and resources, allowing them to obtain volumes of documents, computer files, and recorded conversations. An effective criminal defense attorney protecting clients from federal crimes must have a system in place to review discovery that is both reliable and efficient. The dissemination of evidence relevant to the defense of the case and familiarity with discovery case law are paramount in obtaining favorable evidence.
The key to the government’s case in many federal criminal investigations is built on multiple statements gathered during witness interviews. An effective criminal defense attorney will have a strategy to negate the credibility of testimony that can damage the defense. This will require a deep knowledge of the Federal Rules of Evidence and a background in investigative techniques.
Federal criminal cases often involve specialized knowledge. The prosecution may involve securities issues, the medical industry, or the banking field. In these cases, experts in their field are utilized as witnesses for both the prosecution and the defense. A federal criminal defense attorney must have experience working with expert witnesses and effectively challenging expert testimony for the prosecution. Federal criminal defense lawyers must possess skills to engage expert witnesses. They must also possess a thorough knowledge of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the specific case law that relates to expert testimony to procure a favorable outcome in a federal court.
If you need to discuss federal criminal defense representation in Washington, DC, contact Attorney Dennis Boyle today. Our team is highly experienced at handling federal investigations, prosecutions, and appeals. Schedule a case review of your situation and let us explain the legal services our team has to offer.