If you are from the Bronx or anywhere else in the New York area and you have been arrested on federal charges, you should know those charges are very serious. You need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has knowledge in the area of federal charges. Federal offenses can be far more serious than violations of state statutes and as a result, they carry much harsher penalties. In addition, federal crimes are tried differently and in different venues than other violations of the New York penal code by very experienced prosecutors. That makes it that much more important that you have a criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the federal criminal justice system.
What Constitutes a Federal Crime in New York?
If you have been arrested on charges of a federal crime, you should know that it is not a situation you should take lightly. Federal offenses carry severe penalties that include lengthy prison sentences. There are a number of different federal crimes in the state of New York that include the following:
• Drug trafficking and narcotics importation: These and other drug-related crimes are charged as misdemeanors up to felonies
• Money laundering
• Tax evasion
• Racketeering (RICO): These are typically crimes that are related to a criminal organization
• Fraud: This includes all types of fraud, including credit card fraud, fraudulent hard money loans, mail and wire fraud, insurance fraud, fake reverse merger shells, and fraud related to governmental benefits
• Weapons-related offenses
• Human trafficking
• Conspiracy: This is a broad category of crimes that usually involves an agreement by two or more people to commit a criminal act
• Bank robbery
• Internet crimes: These crimes include anything that occurs over the Internet, such as hacking, phishing scams, identity theft and even child pornography
What Happens When Someone is Arrested on Federal Charges in New York?
As previously stated, federal charges are more serious than those that violate state statutes. There are a number of aspects that take place during the legal process when a person is arrested and charged with a federal crime. In general, it is essential to have a skilled federal criminal attorney representing you.
The first step in the process of federal charges is the complaint, which is followed by an issuing of an arrest warrant so that the individual can be arrested. The prosecutor then issues a complaint that includes the reasons or allegations for the arrest. Afterward, the judge makes the determination of whether there is sufficient evidence to indict the defendant. If that occurs, the judge will also inform the person of their rights and set a bond. At this point, the individual will want to hire a criminal federal attorney to represent them.
The next thing that happens is that there is a hearing to determine whether the individual should be let out on bond. Usually, if someone is released on bond, it takes place within 72 hours of their arrest. Then, within 10 days of their arrest, the individual will have a hearing in Federal Court. The Prosecutor will present evidence that the person committed the federal offense for which they were arrested. The defense attorney will also present evidence to prove otherwise. There is usually a grand jury involved and it ultimately determines whether the individual should be indicted.
Federal arraignment happens next and the following occurs:
• The accused formally hears the charges against them
• The individual learns their rights
• The individual enters a plea of either “guilty” or “not guilty”
• A trial date is placed on the court docket
Unless a plea agreement is reached, the case will then go to trial. It is the prosecutor’s duty to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The individual also has the right to appeal. A Notice of Appeal must be filed within 10 days of sentencing. It’s important to go over all the facts of the case with a defense attorney. Your lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected.