Federal Criminal Defense
Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Bradford Cohen has successfully defended client's rights in courts in and out of the State of Florida, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale on Federal matters. He is a sought out Federal legal commentator on such matters as White Collar Crime, including extortion, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud and Mortgage Fraud. He has also spoken on issues concerning Taxation and Drug Trafficking. We have also represented individuals (targets and non-targets) during the indictment stage before the Grand Jury. The earlier in the investigation you hire a Federal Attorney, the more prepared you will be to attack the Governments case.
When hiring a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer it is important that they not only have experience in Federal criminal procedural but Federal Criminal Trials as well. Bradford is armed with both, knowledge of Federal Criminal Procedure as well as conducting Federal Criminal Trials. He is dedicated to providing the best representation in federal court. Can any lawyer represent you in a Criminal Federal Case? The answer is YES. The real question is: Can any lawyer EFFECTIVELY represent you in a Federal Criminal Case? The answer is NO. Federal law is unique in many ways not only when it comes to sentencing, but the method the case proceeds to trial. If your lawyer is not experienced in Federal law, you could be waiving rights without your knowledge.
If you are charged with a Federal Crime, hire a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer or an experienced Federal Criminal Defense Law Firm. Bradford Cohen has not only handled cases where the target of the investigation has NOT co-operated with the government, but had mitigating circumstances that significantly lowered their exposure at sentencing. He has also had matters that required a Federal trial. Not every Florida criminal defense lawyer is an experienced federal criminal lawyer. The laws and procedures in Federal Court differ greatly from State court. The following is a short overview of how they differ.
There are subtle differences between State and Federal criminal cases. A good example of this would be drunk driving. Normally a DUI is a State case, however if you are on Federal Property at the time, the Federal Government would charge you with a Federal Crime.
Many drug trafficking cases can also be charged either by State or Federal authorities. For example, if the narcotics are bought and sold in the same state, the case is typically charged by the State. However, if narcotics are bought in one state and sold in another state, or the deal is made over state lines it could be charged federally, along with other counts such as a conspiracy to transport. It is fairly easy for the Federal government to bring charges by simply providing some evidence that the crime has affected interstate commerce. Once charged with a crime, you can review the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, to see the recommended sentence.
Usually at the time of arrest you should know where your case will be prosecuted. If you are arrested by federal authorities and taken to a federal detention center, the likelihood is that the case will be in federal court. If you are arrested by a local police department and taken to a city or county jail, you will most likely be prosecuted by the state. This is not always the case as the Federal Authorities may take interest in you once arrested by the State authorities. In that case you will need an attorney experienced in handling both State and Federal matters.
The Criminal Federal System of the United States, has its power divided between a central Criminal Federal authority and many state or local authorities. Thus, there are 51 different sets of criminal procedural law in the United States-that of the federal government and one for each of the 50 states. In addition, separate criminal procedures exist for military courts and for Federal courts. The Criminal law procedures adopted by each of the 50 states and the federal government differ to some extent. However, since it is all based originally on English common law, it provides significant similarities in the basic laws and structure of the process. Furthermore, the United States Constitution imposes additional limitations on the states in creating their criminal procedure. In regards to Federal criminal procedure, a short explanation is below.
Federal Criminal Procedure: A person prosecuted in the federal courts on a charge of violating a federal criminal law is subject to federal criminal procedure. A person in Federal court may be prosecuted by way of indictment, or in some cases a complaint, if the individual waives a formal grand jury indictment. Federal procedure is governed, first of all, by certain provisions of the U.S. Constitution, especially those contained in the US Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution). The US Constitution guarantees certain procedural rights that the government must afford a federal criminal defendant, unless the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives these rights. These Rights are basic and afforded to all individuals in the US, even if you are not a legal US citizen at the time of arrest or search.
The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. It describes how US law enforcement officials, either Federal or State, can obtain Search or Arrest warrants.
The Fifth Amendment protects individuals accused of crimes from having to testify against themselves and from being tried more than once for the same offense (Res Judicata). It also requires that any criminal charges result from the proceedings of a grand jury; a group of citizens that are called to service by the US government, to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to have a trial. Finally, the Fifth Amendment requires that government procedures adhere to due process of law, which means basic standards of fairness and equity.
Under the Sixth Amendment, a defendant is guaranteed a speedy and public jury trial. This also includes that the defendant gets notice of the charges he or she faces and may call witnesses and face his or her accusers. There have been significant developments on the State level in regards to the right to face your accuser, please call our office to find out in more detail. The Sixth Amendment also guarantees that the trial will take place in the district where the alleged crime was committed and that the defendant will have the assistance of legal counsel. This may be affected by a number of things in regards to Federal Criminal matters.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments. In regards to Federal Bond, there are a number of factors that go into the determination of what constitutes excessive bail. These factors could include the ability to pay the ties to the local community and include the safety of society in general.
These US Federal constitutional guarantees provide a starting point for federal criminal procedure. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, supplement the constitutional guarantees. The rules contain detailed provisions relating to the pretrial, trial, and appeal stages of Federal Prosecutions. Other details of federal criminal procedure are covered in federal statutes enacted by the U.S. Congress. Lastly, a large part of the law in regards to federal criminal procedure is found in the reported decisions (case law) of the federal courts.
A person prosecuted in the courts of a particular state on a charge of violating the criminal laws of that state is subject to state criminal procedure. State criminal procedure is found in the constitution, statutes, rules, and judicial decisions (case law) of that state. Additionally, portions of the U.S. Constitution are applicable to criminal defendants, charged in State cases.
AS stated above each State has a State Constitution. State Constitutions generally guarantee a state criminal defendant most of the same rights that a federal defendant is provided by the Bill of Rights. Some US states have provisions that vary from federal constitutional requirements. For example, in a number of states criminal charges need not result from the proceedings of a grand jury, by way of indictment. Instead, in some jurisdictions, a judge determines whether or not the accused person should be tried after reviewing the evidence during a preliminary hearing. Additionally, some states can file by way of criminal information. In those instances, the only entity deciding on the charges to be filed is the local State Attorney's Office. States may provide greater rights for criminal defendants than the U.S. Constitution guarantees.
The Supreme Court of the United States has required states to provide to criminal defendants most of the procedural guarantees in the U.S. Constitution. For example, states must recognize the Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. In addition to these specific rights, the states are required by the U.S. Constitution to guarantee due process. The 14th Amendment, reads in part, "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Like the 5th Amendment, which applies to federal criminal procedure, the 14th Amendment requires the states to maintain certain minimum standards of fundamental fairness in their laws concerning criminal procedure. For instance, Federal and State prosecutors may not systematically exclude members of a particular race or gender from a jury. State convictions that result from proceedings that violate the minimum standards required by the 14th Amendment can be set aside by the federal courts through the process of appeal if the state courts themselves do not do so first.