Being investigated by federal authorities and charged with a
federal crime is not an easy experience. As offenses governed by U.S. law rather than
state law, federal crimes have a unique set of procedures and rules to
follow. They can also result in incredibly harsh penalties and prison
If you or someone you love has been charged with a federal crime in Houston
or anywhere in Texas, be aware that federal cases are a different beast
than state or local crimes. At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, our Houston
criminal defense attorneys are led by a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist
(Jed Silverman, Texas Board of Legal Specialization) who has fought on
behalf of many clients charged with crimes in federal courts across the state.
Having handled many of these cases, we know that they demand immediate
and experienced representation. We also know that accused individuals
need to understand what’s on the line when they have been charged
so that they can make informed decisions that could very well help them
protect their freedom and future.
Here are a few basic things you need to understand after being charged
with a federal crime:
Know what you’re up against – Federal crimes are not your average criminal offense. These charges
are thoroughly investigated by federal agencies with tremendous resources,
and they are prosecuted by U.S. and Assistant U.S. Attorneys who fiercely
leverage the tools at their disposal in order to gain convictions. Additionally,
there are unique procedures in place that differ from those in state criminal
cases. From investigation, indictment, and pre-trial to sentencing and
court supervision, these unique rules can be foreign to those who have
never encountered them. What’s more, federal cases typically involve
offenses serious enough to attract attention from the U.S. government.
These include large-scale
drug crimes, crimes or
fraud committed directly against the government or its agencies, crimes that
occur in multiple states or involve the transmission of funds or products
across state lines or national borders, crimes involving the internet or
child pornography, organized crime, and others.
Know what’s at stake – Federal cases are treated in a more serious tone than most state
cases simply because there is typically a lot on the line. Federal crimes
are infamous for posing harsh sentences, often as a result of the federal
sentencing guidelines used by judges or mandatory minimum sentences that
prevent judges from using their discretion to dole out an appropriate
sentence given an individual’s crime, history, and character. Federal
crimes are federal crimes because they can subject convicted individuals
to lengthy prison terms in federal correctional facilities, and in some
cases may also subject them to stringent oversight and monitoring after
they are released. To put it bluntly, everything is at stake when it comes
to federal cases.
Find the right lawyer – One of the most important decisions you can make after being charged
with a federal crime is to work with a lawyer. Keep in mind that because
federal cases are unique, it becomes even more important that you choose
the right one. Not all criminal lawyers are able to practice in federal
courts, as attorneys must be licensed to practice in a certain federal
district. Some defense attorneys never handle a federal case in their
life, often because they are difficult and the stakes are high. Attorney
Jed Silverman is licensed to practice not only in all state courts in
Texas and Missouri, but also in the Southern, Eastern, and Western District
federal courts of Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He knows how to
handle federal cases.
Taking immediate action and speaking with an attorney should be your next
step after being charged with a federal crime. Our firm is readily available
to take your case and discuss how we may be able to help.
Contact us for a free consultation.