Richard Wynn, Esq.
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Wynn Law Group
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Long Beach, CA 90802
Tel. (562) 590-3700
A "Federal Crime" is any offense that violates the laws contained in the United States Criminal Code. The offenses are primarily white collar crimes dealing with various frauds. Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, Health Care Fraud, Investment Fraud, Telemarketing Fraud, Loan Fraud, Crimes against government agencies, etc. These are often accompanied by charges of money laundering and tax evasion. All federal laws passed by the United States Congress come under the jurisdiction of the judicial branch of the federal government. The judicial branch (article III, U.S. Constitution) has the responsibility of interpreting and administering the articles contained in the U.S. criminal code.
There are over 100 categories of offenses that are considered to be federal crimes, and even though some offenses may also be covered under the California criminal code, the methods by which federal crimes are handled are unique. Some examples of federal crimes are:
- Accounting Fraud
- Bank Fraud
- Bankruptcy Fraud
- Child Pornography
- Computer Crimes
- Computer Hacking
- Controlled Substance Violations
- Corporate Crimes
- Customs Violations
- Drug Manufacturing
- Drug Possession/Sales
- Drug Trafficking
- Espionage Export/Import Crimes
- Gun Law Violations
- Health Care Fraud
- Immigration Law Violations Internet Fraud
- Mail Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Multi-Level Marketing
- RICO Crimes
- Securities Fraud
- Social Security Fraud
- Tax Crimes
- Weapons Charges
- Wire fraud
Click Here to view a detailed version of the U.S. criminal code.
In addition to the above list of federal offenses, ANY crime that is committed on federal property (government buildings, airports, National parks, etc) is subject to federal prosecution and comes under the jurisdiction of the federal court system.
Every crime under the U.S. criminal code is assessed a base offense value, the more serious the offense, the higher the base value. For example:
Points are then added or subtracted depending on the circumstances such as the age of the victim, the amount of money involved, the type of weapon used, etc.
That's just the beginning. A complicated grid pattern is then used to combine other variables such as previous criminal history, social and economic stability of the offender, and so on. A federal district judge must then impose a mandatory minimum and/or maximum sentence based on the final "point value" given to the case. Click Here to view the Federal Sentencing Table.
The federal court system was established to ensure that there was equal justice for all citizens and also equal punishment for anyone who committed a federal offense
The federal courts are considered to be the guardians of the constitution. Their function is to protect our guaranteed constitutional rights. Those accused of committing federal crimes are generally tried in federal District Courts (each state has at least one district court). The judges who preside over the District courts are appointed by the U.S. Congress and must strictly adhere to federal sentencing guidelines. The U.S. Sentencing Commission (formed in 1980) established sentencing guidelines to ensure that there is uniform justice throughout the nation.
A Federal criminal matter proceeds as follows:
The U.S. attorney presents evidence to a grand jury whose function it is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against a person.
- Investigation of potential criminal conduct
- Review by United States Attorney
- Complaint filed
- Grand jury returns indictment
- Defendant arrested
- Preliminary hearing
- Discovery pleadings
- Motion file
- Opening statements
- Government prosecutor's case
- Defendant's case
- Prosecutor's rebuttal case
- Closing arguments
If an arrest is made, an initial appearance is scheduled and the judge advises the defendant of the charges. Based on reports from pre-trial services, the judge will then decide whether to release the defendant back into the community until the trial, to place certain restrictions on the defendant, to place bail if any is required, or to keep the defendant in jail.
A "pre-trial" is conducted to give the U.S. attorney and the defendant's attorney the opportunity to present evidence to the judge that would either support or refute the charges. Criminal cases include a limited amount of pretrial discovery proceedings, with substantial restrictions to protect the identity of government informants and to prevent intimidation of witnesses. The attorneys also may file motions, which are requests for rulings by the court before the trial. For example, defense attorneys often file a motion to suppress evidence, which asks the court to exclude from the trial evidence that the defendant believes was obtained by the government in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights.
In a criminal trial, the burden of proof is on the government. Defendants do not have to prove their innocence. Instead, the government must provide evidence to convince the jury of the defendant's guilt. The standard of proof in a criminal trial is proof "beyond a reasonable doubt," which means the evidence must be so strong that there is no reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. If a defendant is found not guilty, the defendant is released and the government may not appeal. Nor can the person be charged again with the same crime in a federal court. The Constitution prohibits "double jeopardy," or being tried twice for the same offense.
If the verdict is guilty, the judge determines the defendant's sentence according to special federal sentencing guidelines issued by the United States Sentencing Commission. The court's probation office prepares a report for the court that applies the sentencing guidelines to the individual defendant and the crimes for which he or she has been found guilty. During sentencing, the court may consider not only the evidence produced at trial, but all relevant information that may be provided by the pretrial services officer, the U.S. attorney, and the defense attorney. In unusual circumstances, the court may depart from the sentence calculated according to the sentencing guidelines.
A sentence may include time in prison, a fine to be paid to the government, and restitution to be paid to crime victims. The court's probation officers assist the court in enforcing any conditions that are imposed as part of a criminal sentence. The supervision of offenders also may involve services such as substance abuse testing and treatment programs, job counseling, and alternative detention options.
All of this boils down to one important fact. Do not attempt to defend yourself in federal court without the assistance of an experienced FEDERAL criminal defense attorney.
At Wynn Law Group we have successfully handled over thousands of Criminal Trial, Investigation, Prosecution, Judicial and Criminal Defense Trial, Federal Criminal Defense and Case Settlement Experience. This uniquely qualifies us to determine whether proper police procedures were followed or if your Constitutional Rights were violated.
Remember that, even though you have been accused of a federal crime, your rights are still protected under the U.S. Constitution. Your constitutional rights include:
- Protection from unreasonable search and seizure
- The right to be informed of the exact charges and related sentence
- The right to an attorney
- Protection from self-incrimination
- The right to a speedy and public trial
- The right to examine all witnesses, either for or against you
If any of your constitutional rights have been violated, there is a possibility that your case will be thrown out of court.
Crimes that do not involve physical violence, and that relate largely to financial matters, are often called "white-collar crimes." White-collar crimes involve most of the same legal principles as do other crimes, and people charged with white-collar crimes have the same rights and protections as defendants accused of other crimes. On the other hand, white-collar offenses are often very complex, and involve numerous complicated legal and factual issues. The possible penalties include fines, prison sentences, and criminal forfeiture. If you have been charged with a white-collar crime, it is essential that you seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney at once so that you can preserve your rights and protect your future.
Unlike many criminal defenses, individuals charged with federal white-collar crimes often know that they are under investigation. It is important to hire a federal white-collar criminal defense attorney as soon as a criminal investigation is underway. Often charges can be reduced and sometimes, federal white-collar criminal charges can be avoided.
Often federal white-collar fraud cases are complicated. Federal authorities often spend a year or more investigating white-collar crime cases prior to filing charges. You need a lawyer who has gained a reputation as an aggressive white-collar criminal defense attorney with the skill and knowledge to bring about positive results for his clients.
When your future is on the line...Call Wynn Law Group for a free & confidential consultation at (562) 590-3700 or contact us on line.
Richard Wynn is admitted to practice law in all California State Court as well as the Central and Northern Districts of United States District Court.
Wynn Law Group represents clients in Los Angeles County: Alhambra, Bellflower, Lakewood, Downey, El Monte, Beverly Hills, Compton, Culver City, Glendale, Huntington Park, Inglewood, Long Beach, Norwalk, Pasadena, Pomona, South Gate, Hawaiian Park San Pedro, Torrance; Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Stanton, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, San Clemente, Westminster, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Orange, Cerritos, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Brea, Placentia, Yorba Linda; and Inland Empire: Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, Moreno Valley, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Palm Springs, Upland, Chino, Victorville, Redlands, Temecula, Indio, Colton, Highland, Murrieta, Palm Desert, Perris, Lake Elsinore, Norco, Banning, Beaumont, Woodcrest.
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