Michigan Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Being accused of a federal crime can leave one feeling lost and overwhelmed. Prasad Legal, PLLC understands the challenges clients are facing and is committed to providing the defense needed in these situations. From issues like subject matter jurisdiction, crimes across state lines, the overlap of federal and state laws, and the federal crime process, Attorney Prasad is prepared to advocate and inform individuals throughout Michigan with their legal needs. If you are anywhere in the state of Michigan — such as Oakland County (West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Township, Farmington Hills, Rochester, and Troy), Macomb County (Clinton Township, Sterling Heights), and Wayne County (Detroit) — reach out today for support.

Understanding Federal Crimes

Federal crimes are offenses against federal laws and are prosecuted by the U.S. government. These crimes are distinct from state crimes which are prosecuted by individual states. Federal crimes cover a broad spectrum of offenses such as fraud, bribery, money laundering, and much more.

Bribery of Public Officials and Witnesses

The bribery of public officials and witnesses law is pretty straightforward. It's found in the U.S. Code, specifically Title 18, Part I, Chapter 11, § 201. What it says is if you bribe public officials or witnesses, you're in for some serious trouble. You could be fined, or even spend up to fifteen years in jail. And that's not all. You might also be banned from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States. If you offer or give anything of value to an officer or other person to sway their decisions, you're equally guilty. The penalties are slightly less severe though, such as fines or getting up to two years in prison, or both. This law covers public officials, people who've been chosen to be public officials, and certain acts they might carry out in their official capacity. This law is designed to be a bit more lenient towards temporary and intermittent employees, also known as special Government employees, to make it easier to hire experts for important work.

Fraud by Wire, Radio, or Television

According to 18 U.S. Code § 1343, the US's fraud by wire, radio, or television law states:

"Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency [...]), or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both."

Laundering of Monetary Instruments

Federal money laundering laws make it a crime to move money obtained from certain specific serious crimes. The idea is to stop criminals from using the banking system to hide their dirty money, and enjoy their illegal profits. These laws are covered under Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1956. Penalties can be pretty harsh, including hefty fines and serious jail time. And, it's not just about the person who committed the original crime, anyone involved in the laundering process can be charged.

Health Care Fraud

The health care fraud law — 18 U.S. Code § 1347 states:

  • "(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice—

    • (1) to defraud any health care benefit program; or

    • (2) to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any health care benefit program,
      in connection with the delivery of or payment for health care benefits, items, or services, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. If the violation results in serious bodily injury [...], such person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both; and if the violation results in death, such person shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both.

  • (b) With respect to violations of this section, a person need not have actual knowledge of this section or specific intent to commit a violation of this section."

In essence, the health care fraud law makes it a crime to knowingly execute or attempt a scheme to defraud any health care benefit program or to obtain money or property from such a program through false or fraudulent means. The law doesn't require a person to have actual knowledge of this section or specific intent to commit a violation, and the penalties can range from fines to imprisonment for up to 10 years, or even life if the violation results in death.

Conspiracy to Commit Offense or to Defraud the United States

18 U.S. Code § 371 states:

"If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor."

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The Federal Crime Process

The process of prosecuting a federal crime involves several key steps. Each step in this process is critical and can significantly influence the outcome of a case. Here's a simplified overview of the federal crime process:

  • Investigation: This is the first stage where federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA, or ATF gather evidence about the alleged crime. The investigation may involve surveillance, interviews, or search warrants.

  • Charging: After the investigation, the case is presented to a federal prosecutor who decides whether to file charges. The prosecutor can file a complaint, which begins the prosecution, or present the evidence to a grand jury seeking an indictment.

  • Arraignment: If charges are filed, the defendant makes their first court appearance during the arraignment. Here, they are formally charged, and they enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. In the Eastern District of Michigan, this is also known as Duty Court.

  • Discovery: During this phase, the prosecution and defense exchange information about the evidence and witnesses they plan to present in court.

  • Plea Bargaining: In some cases, the defendant may choose to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to reduce their charges or sentencing.

  • Trial: If a plea bargain is not reached, the case proceeds to trial. The prosecution presents its case first, followed by the defense.

  • Verdict: The jury, or sometimes the judge, deliberates and delivers a verdict. If the defendant is found guilty, the case moves to sentencing.

  • Sentencing: The judge determines the appropriate punishment based on federal sentencing guidelines. This could include imprisonment, fines, probation, or other penalties.

  • Appeal: If the defendant believes there was a legal error during the trial or sentencing, they can appeal the decision to a higher court.

Prasad Legal, PLLC understands the federal crime process and work tirelessly to protect the rights of their clients at every stage. They are committed to providing a staunch defense to help you seek the best possible outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Criminal Defense

Understanding federal criminal defense can seem daunting, and it's normal to have questions. These answers matter, and this information will shed some light and help you navigate through the issues associated with federal criminal defense.

Q: How do I choose the right federal criminal defense attorney?

A: Choosing the right attorney is crucial when facing federal charges. Look for a lawyer with a proven track record in federal court, extensive knowledge of federal laws, and strong negotiation skills. An initial consultation can help you gauge the attorney's approach and determine if they are a good fit for your case.

Q: Can a federal conviction be expunged?

A: Expungement of federal convictions is not typically available. However, under certain circumstances, a defendant can seek a presidential pardon or apply for clemency.

Q: Can I appeal if found guilty in a federal criminal case?

A: Yes, if a defendant believes a legal error occurred during the trial or sentencing, they have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court.

Federal Crimes Defense Attorney Serving Michigan

If you're facing federal charges, it's essential to seek assistance from a skilled federal criminal defense attorney. Prasad Legal, PLLC has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against federal charges. Their skilled criminal defense attorney understands the intricacies of federal law and will provide you with the strong defense you need. Don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation, and let Prasad Legal, PLLC fight for your rights. Attorney Prasad is here for you.