Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer San Francisco, CA
If you are accused of a crime as a federal employee, you may need the help of a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA from The Morales Law Firm. In many instances, there is a disconnect between private sector employment and federal government employment. If a private sector employee misstates their time on a timecard, they may be reprimanded but are unlikely to face any further disciplinary action unless it becomes routine.
However, put this same scenario in a federal agency. Because you’re employed by the federal government, making an incorrect statement on your timecard can be a federal felony. You read that correctly and it’s no joke. If you find yourself in a similar situation and are not sure of what to do, contact a San Francisco, California federal criminal defense lawyer.
Criminal Investigations Run Quickly Through the Federal Government
As a federal employee, you’re certainly aware that criminal investigations happen frequently. This is not necessarily because there are many bad people employed in the federal government. Rather, this is because the federal government employs such a substantial number of people, there are bound to be crimes that occur. And since the federal government is self-policing, it must make sure all suspicion of crime is fully and completely investigated. If you were accused of a crime as a federal employee, a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA can help.
Each federal agency has an Office of Inspector General. Much like some police patrolling a road, the Inspector General in your federal agency could be overzealous. This results in more criminal investigations at your agency and puts more federal employees in the crosshairs. Does this mean there is more crime being committed in your agency? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that you are more likely to find yourself the subject of an investigation, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
Avoiding Legal Help Can be Disastrous
A San Francisco, CA federal criminal defense lawyer is here for a reason. We help clients navigate complex legal issues and ensure their rights are protected throughout the process. Thinking you can handle a legal issue on your own is the worst decision you could make. We have been helping clients just like you face federal agency criminal investigations for many years. We know what it takes to ensure your rights are protected and the investigation is swiftly completed without any finding of wrongdoing on your part.
As a federal employee, your position and your work is highly regulated and highly scrutinized. A seemingly innocent omission or mistake, like incorrect time on a timecard, could result in your prosecution under federal law.
This is why it’s imperative that you reach for the phone today to contact a federal criminal defense lawyer San Francisco, CA employees trust so we can meet with you and discuss the specifics of your case and how to best move forward. Without our assistance, you could quickly find your career derailed and your life and reputation in ruins. Depending on the severity of the federal criminal charges you face, your freedom could even be at stake.
You have taken a noble career path out of a sense of public service. Many people would not be willing to go down the path you chose. But that path comes with additional scrutiny and oversight. When you find yourself the subject of an investigation, you need a trusted attorney by your side, fighting to protect your rights. The Morales Law Firm can be the representation you deserve to get past this difficult point in your life. Don’t delay another day. Call our office to get help from a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA today.
Federal Crimes and State Crimes: What’s the Difference?
The United States legal system can be complicated. There are federal laws, but there are also state laws too. State laws can be widely varied. So, how can you determine if a crime is a state or federal one?
The outline below will detail a few examples of the differences between the two. When you are entangled in legal matters, the situation can get complicated. The Morales Law firm can help you if you need a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA.
Federal Crime Examples
Federal crimes are a direct violation of the United States Constitution. Federal laws can overrule state laws. Some examples of federal crimes include IRS (tax) violations, drug trafficking, drug possession, and copyright infractions.
There are several other examples of federal crimes. This can include a crime occurring in multiple states. The crime could involve citizens from other states. Committing a crime on the federal property also counts. Examples of this are robbing a federal bank or committing a crime on National Park Service land.
State Crime Examples
State crimes cover felonies that occur in the state’s jurisdiction. One example is traffic violations. A state can maintain, as well patrol, roads within its borders. If someone speeds, that person is subject to the speeding laws of that specific state.
Other examples include burglary, arson, and contract breach. There could still be others too. If you are confused about a crime being in federal or state jurisdiction, a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Fransisco, CA, can help you figure this out.
Navigating The Court Process
Simply put, there are the state courts that handle state laws and federal courts that handle federal laws. Federal courts have a tiered system. There are the district courts that handle initial trials. Then there is the U.S. court of appeals that is the first place where a federal appeal goes. Then there is the Supreme Court which is the final level of appeal in the U.S. Justice System.
If you are dealing with a federal crime, the United States courts are complex with a lot of resources. Don’t feel like you can’t stand a chance. Finding a good federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA, can help you in your case.
It is perfectly fine to feel stressed out about facing a federal crime. The lawyers at the Morales Law Firm can work with your unique situation.
Avoiding the Don’ts When Charged With a Federal Crime
Don’t Be Distrustful of Your Attorney
When hiring a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, make sure you trust him or her. When working with the Morales Law Firm, feel free to ask the attorneys working on your case questions. You should feel comfortable asking and answering questions during your meetings with the lawyer.
When talking with an attorney, make sure the firm specializes in your specific charges. Ask questions about the lawyer’s experience and record with cases like your own. You need to know the good and the bad. What cases were won and which cases went poorly? Most lawyers do not have a perfect record. If you do not trust your lawyer, you may have difficulty following instructions. Likewise, you may have to deal with more anxiety because you don’t know your attorney has your best interests in mind.
Keep Yourself From Being Ill-Prepared
When working with a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco CA, ask about the charges you’re facing. The more you understand about the charges, the more agency you have in your case’s strategy.
Once you understand the charges, make sure you list all of the facts about your case. Write down everything that you think may be relevant to the charges. Sometimes, memories are not as reliable as people may think. It is better to write down everything that happened and all the facts ahead of time to ensure you don’t forget them when discussing them with your attorney. When writing notes, make sure to note at the top of the page that they are privileged between you and your lawyer. In addition to notes, make sure you collect as many documents or evidence that you can that may be relevant. Even if you do not need the documents until later, it helps to have everything finished in advance.
Be Careful Not to Panic
Panicking will not help anyone in your situation. When facing federal charges, it may be difficult not to become overwhelmed with the seriousness of the allegations. After all, heavy penalties may be awaiting you if you’re convicted. It may be challenging to think clearly and prepare for your trial when you panic. Hiring a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco CA will help you have the best shot possible against your charges. When you’re calm and prepared, you can work with your lawyer to beat the charge so you can move on with your life.
What You Should Do When Brought in for Police Questioning
Some of the most common questions surrounding criminal charges involve the interrogation or questioning process. When you are facing charges, it can leave you not only feeling lost but fearful as well. It may be in your best interest to obtain The Morales Law Firm for their legal advocacy, experience, and support through what is sure to be a trying time for you and your family. It’s all too common for someone being questioned to move forward with answering questions they are being asked by law enforcement out of fear for what may happen if they refuse to so. The following are common questions those dealing with possible charges may have when faced with police questioning:
Is there a difference between being questioned and an interrogation?
There can be a substantial difference between an interview or questioning and an interrogation. In most cases, police questioning is utilized to gather information regarding a criminal case they are in the process of investigating. In some situations, the person being questioned may have witnessed the crime or have relevant information that pertains to the investigation. At times, questioning someone can lead them to their possible suspect. An interview may turn into an interrogation based on your responses during questioning. This is especially true if law enforcement begins to suspect that the person they are speaking with committed the crime. Interrogations are utilized to gather information and also to elicit a confession from the person they are speaking with.
If I confess to a crime that I didn’t commit, can a federal criminal defense lawyer help me?
It can be terrifying to be questioned by law enforcement, especially if you are already shaken up by the recent crime or event that may have taken place. Sometimes, traumatic events can cause people to behave irrationally. In some cases, it can cause someone to confess to a crime that they did not commit. This is a primary reason why it is vital that you contact a federal criminal defense lawyer from the start. They can keep a level head during questioning by law enforcement and direct you through the process with ease. A San Francisco CA lawyer can help you get it right from the start or do damage control in the event that you have mistakenly said something that you shouldn’t have.
How will a federal criminal defense lawyer help me during questioning?
Although you may not think a lawyer is necessary for questioning, there are some situations that require their counsel. Perhaps one of the most downplayed components to having a lawyer present is the peace of mind they can bring. It’s terrifying to face the unknown. You may be apt to answer questions a lawyer may advise against out of fear or shock at being questioned by police. A lawyer can advise you to refrain from answering certain questions in efforts to ensure that you do not say anything that gets you into more trouble. In addition, a lawyer will be vital in making sure that your rights are kept at the forefront of questioning.
Depending on the specific details of your case, your legal entanglements may be just getting started. Allow for us to bring our decades of criminal defense experience to the table when you are being questions or interrogated. A federal criminal defense lawyer San Francisco CA clients recommend from our firm can help mitigate the risk that you will say something to incriminate yourself any further.
Criminal Defense Attorneys You Can Rely On
A federal criminal defense lawyer San Francisco CA locals recommend from The Morales Law Firm can respond to your questions and concerns if you have been charged with a federal crime. Since 1991, Christopher F. Morales has protected the rights of residents in San Francisco. He can guide you through the legal process and will make every effort to effect a positive outcome for your case.
Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge
The nature of the crime with which you have been charged will play a huge role in whether or not you will likely be held in jail while awaiting trial. Even the thought of being in a prison cell can be overwhelming. This can be especially true if you have never spent time in jail. Regardless of your charges, a federal criminal defense lawyer San Francisco CA residents choose from our firm can help you. Your attorney may be able to arrange for bail so you go home while awaiting trial. Here are some of the most common types of criminal charges our clients face:
- DUI Cases
- Traffic Tickets
- Drug Charges
- White Collar Crimes
- Sex Crimes
The Criminal Court System
A skilled federal criminal defense lawyer San Francisco CA defendants trust from our firm may be able to reduce your charges, or even have them dropped. Though you have the right to a public defender at no charge, rarely do they have adequate resources to properly handle a case. Why put yourself in a position where the outcome of your case is less than optimal? Provide yourself with the greatest chance of a positive resolution. Allow Christopher F. Morales of The Morales Law Firm to assist you with this. There are a number of steps involved while navigating the criminal justice system. Depending on whether or not you plead guilty, the process will vary somewhat. A federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco CA can provide you with more detail specific to your circumstances, but here is some general information:
- Prior to a criminal charge, law enforcement is key in gathering enough evidence to charge a person with a crime. Once someone has been arrested, they become a part of the court system.
- Once arrested, a person must post bail in order to be released. This can vary depending on the crime. In some situations, a defendant is released with the understanding that they will attend their next court hearing. However, the judge can order the defendant to remain in jail without the possibility of posting bail.
- There will likely be a number of court appearances required depending on the type of plea a person enters and the charges against them. It will be important to work with a federal criminal defense lawyer San Francisco CA community members rely on to speak on their behalf to the court.
- During the court process, the prosecutor will present the evidence against the defendant. An attorney will be key in providing the defendant with a solid legal strategy to refute the charges if they do not plead guilty.
If you find yourself involved in the criminal justice system, you may be best served by hiring a San Francisco federal criminal defense lawyer. Although you have the right to represent yourself, that rarely works in a defendant’s favor. Learn about Can I be forced to testify as a witness in court?
3 Important Questions You May Have About Federal Crimes
Getting charged with a crime can be a stressful ordeal, but when it gets to the federal level, things can instantly become more complicated. When going up against the federal government, you’ll want a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA by your side to guide you through the process and keep you from making costly mistakes. Here are three questions you might have about federal crimes.
What Constitutes a Federal Crime?
Some crimes are inherently federal crimes, and some crimes can be charged federally depending on the circumstances. For example, if a crime occurred on federal property or across multiple states, a simple state crime could become a federal one. Other crimes that are always federal include mail fraud, immigration crimes, copyright infringements, kidnapping, and certain white-collar crimes. Being a federal employee could also put you at risk due to the increased surveillance of federal work. You would be held to a higher standard, so something as simple as making a mistake on your time card could lead to a federal investigation. Due to the intense nature of these crimes, it’s best to have a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA by your side.
Who Prosecutes Federal Crimes?
The agencies that deal with federal crimes are different than those that handle local or state crimes. Simply put, you would be tried by higher government bodies that the president delegates investigative power to, such as the FBI, the DHS, and U.S. attorneys. In some cases, when a state crime becomes a federal issue, jurisdiction is transferred to those higher authorities. Any subsequent trial will be held in one of the three levels of federal court: the district court, the court of appeals, and the Supreme Court.
What Are the Federal Court Proceedings?
The specifics of your case depend on your situation, and a federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA can help outline the possibilities for you or even help reduce your charges. However, for the most part, the process follows a certain path. First, there is an investigation that can lead to an arrest. Depending on what the judge decides, bail could be set. After that, the prosecutor will bring you to trial, where you can first enter a plea. At this point, having a lawyer who understands the inner workings of the federal judiciary system is essential so that you can protect yourself, potentially reduce the charges, and maybe even get the charges dropped.
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer – San Francisco, CA
Once we meet with you and learn about your circumstances, we can explain why the specific charges against you are classified in one way or another. With that said, it can be helpful to understand the broad strokes of criminal jurisdiction so that you can better understand the situation that you’re facing.
State vs. Federal Charges
Governments—either state or federal—derive their authority to prosecute certain acts based on their jurisdiction. Essentially, there are certain acts that only the states can prosecute, certain acts that only the federal government can prosecute, and certain acts that may be affected by dual sovereignty.
Most of the time, the jurisdiction of a case will be rooted in where the crime took place. For example, crimes that occurred solely in California will likely be prosecuted by the state. Crimes that involve movement across boarders or violations of federal law will likely be prosecuted by U.S. attorneys. This is because the Constitution allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce, so crimes that involve more than one state naturally become part of the federal government’s jurisdiction. With the advent of the Internet and easy access to long distance calls, an increasing number of crimes are now prosecuted under federal jurisdiction because the Internet and cellphones have the power to connect people across state lines in an instant.
The doctrine of dual sovereignty allows some crimes to be prosecuted at both the state level and the federal level. This is not a violation of the Constitution’s protection against double jeopardy as long as neither a state nor federal prosecutors seek judgment within their own jurisdiction more than once.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have been charged with criminal wrongdoing or you anticipate that you may be charged in the future, it is important to schedule a risk-free consultation with the experienced California team at Morales Law Firm as soon as you possibly can. Once we’ve learned about your situation, we can begin protecting your rights and building the strongest possible defense on your behalf. Do not speak to anyone else until you’ve connected with a lawyer because anything you say could potentially damage the strength of your defense. Don’t wait. Call now.
Call us as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your defense case. With Christopher F. Morales of The Morales Law Firm on your side, you can feel confident in the counsel he will provide you with throughout the legal process. Call today for a free consultation with a respected federal criminal defense lawyer San Francisco CA offers.
“I wish I hired Chris for my case. Good attorney’s are hard to find and Chris advised me and was honest about best next steps in my challenging situation.”