Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers in Dallas, TX
Being charged with a federal crime is a serious offense, and the penalties handed down are much harsher than state crimes. To protect yourself and your future, it’s critical you retain the services of qualified and experienced federal criminal defense attorneys like the team here at Estrada & Puente, P.L.L.C. in Dallas, TX. We have dedicated our business to providing legal counsel to citizens from all walks of life, ensuring their rights are protected and their cases end with the best possible outcome. Are you concerned you’re under criminal investigation, or have you already been charged with a federal crime? Contact us for help today.
What Is a Federal Crime?
Federal crimes differ from state crimes as they are investigated and prosecuted by federal agencies, such as the FBI or Department of Homeland Security. To be classified as a federal issue, the crimes usually occur across multiple states, happen on federal property, violate federal law, or involve citizens from various states. Federal crimes also carry harsher penalties than state crimes because the federal government has more stringent sentencing laws and the maximum punishments are much higher. Examples of federal crimes we represent clients in include:
- Federal Conspiracy & Drug Charges
- Illegal Reentry & Alien Smuggling
- Internet Crimes
- Money Laundering
- Other Federal Cases
How Do Federal Crime Investigations Work?
The law enforcement and federal agencies involved in investigations will perform most of the investigative work while partnering with a federal prosecutor to build a case and ensure enough evidence for prosecution. While tips and insider information can help initiate the investigation, the government has other tools to assist with compiling additional evidence. A federal judge must approve these methods after sufficient evidence is shown that crimes are likely being committed and there are reasons to use one or more of these. This might include:
- Wiretapping – This method involves tapping into a phone or another electronic device, enabling law enforcement to listen to and record critical information being shared by unsuspecting individuals who may divulge incriminating information.
- GPS Tracking – GPS and other electronic surveillance equipment allow federal agents to follow movements and observe meetings of suspected criminals.
Things to Know About Federal Criminal Investigations
When the federal government believes crimes are being committed that violate federal laws, they begin an investigation to build a case against the suspected individuals. The goal is to determine if federal crimes have been committed, who the people or parties involved are, and what evidence there is to prove it in court. Often, government agencies are informed about possible criminal activity through tips from sources who either deal directly with the people involved in the illegal actions or have information about the crime. Federal agencies that begin the investigation process include the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Department of Homeland Security.
Protect Yourself Against Federal Charges
While the government has a lot of tools and agencies at its disposal, they are required to respect the rights of individuals when conducting criminal investigations. At Estrada & Puente, P.L.L.C., we will fight for your rights and look for areas of illegal evidence collecting, missteps amongst the various agencies, and other mishandling of federal information that may reduce the charges or penalties of the cases. Contact us to discuss your case today if you’re facing federal charges.
Federal Grand Jury Process
Once the federal investigation is complete, the case is presented to a federal grand jury. The grand jury’s job is to listen to the evidence presented to them and determine if there is sufficient proof to proceed with federal prosecution. If they find evidence is adequate, it does not mean the suspects are guilty. It is a way for the federal prosecutors to move forward with the charges.