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Chicago Federal Defense Lawyer
Call (888) 412-3741 for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Federal Charges
Many crimes violate both state and federal laws and, therefore, can be charged in either state or federal court. However, the penalties for federal charges are generally much greater than the penalties are for state charges. Accordingly, the government may bring federal charges to maximize the defendant's potential punishment.
Examples of federal crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Drug conspiracies
- Immigration violations
Additionally, federal charges often result in imprisonment not only for the convicted crime, but also for crimes for which the accused was acquitted or never charged. That is, the judge needs only to find by a "preponderance of the evidence" that the defendant committed the alleged crimes. This is a lower standard than "beyond a reasonable doubt."
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What Crimes Carry Federal Criminal Charges?
While a significant number of crimes are prosecuted at the state and local level, certain crimes are prosecuted in federal court, meaning that they violate a law passed by the United States Congress, as opposed to, say, the Illinois State Legislature. Some crimes can be prosecuted only in federal court, and some can be prosecuted in either state or federal court (but not both).
Chicago federal criminal charges should be taken very seriously. Federal crimes tend to carry more severe sentences, and if you find yourself under federal indictment in Illinois, you will want an effective criminal defense lawyer with experience in federal criminal prosecutions on your side. Below are several federal charges that Chicago attorney Thomas Hallock can fight on your behalf.
Money Laundering: Money laundering is a common federal crime that can take many forms, but it essentially means transferring illegally-obtained money through a person or institution to disguise the unlawful origins of the money.
A federal prosecutor must prove the defendant knew the money involved consisted of proceeds from illegal activity and engaged in a financial transaction intending to disguise the illegal origins of the money. A transaction can be anything from depositing money in a bank account to passing the money along to another person. Money laundering is a distinctly federal crime.
Gun Charges: Gun-related charges can be brought in state court or federal court. Aggravating factors can turn a state firearms charge into a federal criminal charge, a primary example being transporting an unlawfully possessed firearm across state lines.
Other factors include using a gun in relation to or furtherance of a drug-related felony or a federal criminal offense. Possessing a stolen firearm, stolen ammunition or a stolen explosive can be prosecuted in federal court, as well as possessing a firearm near a school, or giving a firearm to a juvenile.
Drug Charges and Drug Conspiracy Charges: The possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, or sell, them is generally unlawful at both the federal and state level. This includes possession of certain amounts of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and methamphetamines. Federal drug charges typically carry harsher penalties that increase significantly when the use of drugs results in death or injury.
Chicago drug conspiracy charges can be brought against any person who attempts to violate or conspires to violate the federal drug laws described above. Even if they didn’t carry out the commission of the crime, a person convicted of this offense may suffer the same penalties for the crime conspired to commit.
Fraud Statutes: Fraud is essentially attempting to obtain something of value using false pretenses or promises. The United States has deemed it a federal offense to commit fraud using electronic means (wire fraud), using the US postal service or private delivery service (mail fraud), using or targeting a financial institution (bank fraud) or involving health care institutions (health care fraud).
- Wire fraud is a federal crime involving attempting to obtain money or property by false pretenses using “wire, radio, or television communication.” This includes using a telephone or the internet, and a defendant can be charged without having been successful in their schemes.
- Mail fraud is a federal crime consisting of the use of mail service in furtherance of any illegal activity. Like wire fraud, the penalties increase when the activity involves a bank or a presidentially declared state of emergency.
- Bank fraud is essentially how it sounds — attempting to obtain something of value from a financial institution under false pretenses. Bank fraud is a federal crime that carries severe penalties because it involves a financial institution.
- Health care fraud involves attempting to defraud “any health care benefit program” or receive money from such a program. To be charged with health care fraud, a defendant does not even have to know it is a crime!
RICO Act Charges: RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, an Act that criminalizes organized crime activity. Racketeering simply means dishonest or fraudulent business dealings. Thus, you could face RICO charges if you engage in illegal business deals in connection with a larger group of individuals or entities.
How Do You Fight a Federal Charge in Chicago?
Federal law says that if you plan to commit a crime with a minimum of one other person, you can be charged with federal conspiracy. All you have to do to warrant the charges is to plan the crime and you will be immediately at risk of the charge. Even if you do not actually go through with the crime, federal conspiracy charges can still apply. If convicted, you may face fines on top of prison time.
When you are facing federal charges, you need the best possible defense to either reduce your charges or have them dropped. Thomas C. Hallock, a Chicago federal criminal defense attorney, has provided legal defense services to hundreds of individuals who were arrested and charged with crimes. When you work with Thomas C. Hallock, you will receive superior criminal defense services and treatment with 24/7 access; results-driven, and customized defense strategies; and individualized attention.
How Do You Win a Federal Conspiracy Case?
The first step is to connect with an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer who has a proven track record of success helping individuals overcome their criminal charges and get the second chance at life that they deserve. When you work with Thomas C. Hallock, your case will be completely and thoroughly investigated. This includes, but is not limited to interviewing witnesses, reviewing the crime scene if it exists, looking over any forensic evidence against you, and breaking down all aspects of the case the state has against you.
It is up to the prosecution to make a solid case against you proving that you agreed to commit a crime with others, the people you agreed to commit a crime with also agreed to the arrangement, and at least one act that took the plan from the stages of talk to action took place. For example, maybe you planned a crime with a friend and both of you agreed to the details of the act and were set to commit the crime. Then, your friend goes to the store to purchase items that will assist you in committing the crime. After you have everything, you have a change of heart and decide not to commit the crime. Despite the fact that you did not actually go through with the crime, the actions that you took planning the crime and then actually going out to act on purchasing tools for the crime can be enough to make the charges stick. Your defense strategy must make it impossible for all of these things to be proven true.
Do Not Delay in Speaking with a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
When you are arrested for a crime in the greater Chicago area, it is important that you exercise your right to remain silent. Then, call Thomas C. Hallock an aggressive Illinois criminal defense attorney at (312) 487-2441 for local residents or toll-free at (888) 412-3741. Thomas C. Hallock will fight to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome takes place in your case. Your initial consultation is free. Call Thomas C. Hallock today.
How can Hallock Law Help Your Federal Charges Case?
Due to the complexities of federal laws and the procedures involved, it is crucial for your case to obtain a skilled Chicago criminal defense lawyer. Defending yourself can lead to a multitude of issues. In a case involving federal charges, you are most likely going to face well-versed and experienced legal teams. This is why it is important to have representation on your side to serve as your advocate – your experience.
At Hallock Law, I stand by your side throughout every facet of your federal charge case. I know the situation with which you are dealing. My ultimate goal is to help you reach a favorable resolution and allow you the opportunity to have a second chance to straighten out your life for the better. If you are facing federal charges in Chicago, you need me, a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with federal investigations, federal laws and federal procedure.
Contact Thomas C. Hallock if you need a skilled and committed federal charges defense attorney in Chicago.
What You Should Do
- Be respectful.
- Calmly record the interaction.
- Ask if you are free to leave. If you do not ask, the officer may think - and the judge may agree - that the interaction is consensual.
- If you are free to leave, go! If you are not free to leave, do not answer and questions before speaking with your attorney.
What You Should Not Do
- Do not physically resist arrest.
- Do not become aggressive or confrontational.
- Do not consent to a search. The Constitution does not apply if you consent.
- Do not answer questions without first speaking with your attorney. Police are allowed to hold you for 48 hours and they may lie to you the entire time.