Federal criminal charges are always utterly terrifying for clients and their families: The United States government — the government that prints the money — is prosecuting you or a loved one. The federal government’s resources are virtually limitless and the consequences of a criminal conviction in a federal courthouse are graver than state court charges. Allegations that could result in optional probation or thirteen months incarceration in state court, can bring lengthy mandatory federal prison sentences.
Ask the following questions when interviewing potential federal defense lawyers:
- Have you ever tried a case to a federal jury?
- Do you have experience in a federal release hearing?
- Do you have experience with the U.S. Attorney prosecuting my case?
- What are some result results for your clients in federal court?
- What sort of experts do you employ in a case like mine?
- If I’m eligible for a court appointed attorney, will the government pay for investigator fees after retaining you?
- What can you offer that a federal public defender cannot?
- Do you have any recent jury trial experience?
- What are the sentencing issues that come up in a case like mine?
- What are the legal and suppression issues that often come up?
- What is a “truthful debrief” and do I have to participate?
- What is a proffer and is this mandator? Do I have to name names?
- What makes a person eligible for Sheridan’s federal prison?
Federal Drug Charges
Federal controlled substances cases deal heavily in motion to suppress issues, motions to controvert search warrants, “safety valve” sentencing issues, the sentencing guidelines, gun enhancements, factual defenses (particularly in conspiracy cases), and communication with federal agents through debriefs and proffers. Federal drug cases can be complex and time consuming for lawyers and thus expensive. Educate yourself on all of the issues as if your life and liberty depend on it. This is the only way you can become competent enough to retain qualified counsel and understand and participate in your defense.
Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA)
Felon in possession of a firearm is a serious crime in state court but can become a life sentence in federal court. The Gun Control Act gives a 10-year maximum for felon in possession cases but the ACCA provides for a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life imprisonment. The stakes are very high.
Remain Silent: Talk to No One
Immediately tell your loved one that they are to talk to absolutely no one about anything that has happened including you and their significant other. Assume that all telephone calls from the jail are recorded, because they are. Recordings of those phone calls will be the Federal Government’s Exhibit 1 at trial. Tell your loved one to tell any investigators that they want to speak to an Oregon federal court defense attorney and to say nothing else to law enforcement. No exceptions.
The Federal Government’s Burden of Proof: Can they prove their case?
Under our federal constitution, an accused person is innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubts. The question for the jury is not whether or not you committed the alleged federal crime. The question is whether or not the United States government has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime as alleged.
Mike Arnold and his team will research the legal issues unique to your federal case and can challenge the U.S. government’s evidence through motions to suppress and motions to exclude evidence. In addition to challenging the legal sufficiency of the evidence, we can challenge the factual sufficiency of the evidence by aggressively investigating your case and having an investigator speak to witnesses for the state and for you. If there was a suggestive photo identification or other eye witness problems, we challenge that evidence with a nationally known identification expert.
Mike Arnold’s Unique Approach
Mike is known for utilizing his unique strategy and trial skills from other practice areas to defend your case. He is not a “business as usual” lawyer. Your case is not “one size fits all” for us. Because Mike has a a broad range of criminal and civil jury trial litigation experience, he and his team has a wide range of experiences and relationships with trial experts that you do not normally see in a federal criminal case. We will analyze your case’s unique fact issues and brainstorm WITH YOU what expert witnesses will assist the federal jury on a given disputed fact. That might make the difference between a simple swearing contest between witnesses and reasonable doubt.
U.S. Attorneys, the federal prosecutors, have a huge sentencing hammer to hold over your head. Get to know the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Learn them. Don’t be ignorant at what is motivating most of the players in your case. This is your life. Take control by learning and participating. You need an Oregon federal criminal defense attorney familiar with the federal criminal sentencing guidelines. While we are preparing your case for trial, we will also be exploring mitigation issues to present to the lifetime appointed federal judge and prosecutor. This includes having an investigator research mitigating factors as well as employing other experts to assist at sentencing, such as drug and alcohol treatment specialists, psychological evaluators, etc.
Choosing an Oregon Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
When your life as you know it is in jeopardy due to a the proverbial “federal case,” it is important to invest in an Oregon federal defense lawyer who will give your case the attention that it and you deserve. You need to make an informed decision about the merits and hazards of a jury trial versus the advantages of plea negotiations.
Eugene attorney Craig Michael Arnold regularly tries cases before juries. As an experienced major crimes defense attorney and a former prosecutor, he is well versed in the strategies and tactics that prevail at trial.
If you or someone you know in Eugene or throughout western or southern Oregon needs the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, call attorney Mike Arnold today at 541-797-0110 to schedule a consultation or fill out the form on the contact page.
Portland federal court and Medford representation are also available. Call or text 24/7 541-797-0110.