When you have been arrested or believe that you’re under investigation for a federal crime, it’s essential to take steps to defend yourself as early as possible. The penalties for most federal crimes are harsh, and your entire life could be ruined if you are found guilty or wait too long to address allegations.
Consulting an experienced Roanoke federal criminal defense attorney is in your best interests. At Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico, our federal experience and track record in the U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia make us ideally suited to assist you.
Federal Crimes in Roanoke
There are various federal crimes you could be charged with. But most fall into one of the following categories:
- Federal drug crimes
- Federal sex crimes
- Federal violent crimes
- Federal white-collar crimes
Roanoke Federal Drug Crimes
Any drug-related offense could be grounds for federal charges depending on the circumstances. Generally, you will see federal drug charges instead of state drug charges once the amount is over a certain amount or borders are crossed.
Common federal drug charges include:
- Drug trafficking
- Distribution of a controlled substance near a school
- Drug manufacturing or cultivation
- Aiding and abetting
- Import/export offenses
- Continuing Criminal Enterprise (Drug Kingpin)
The higher the volume of the drug in question, the greater your sentence will be if convicted.
Other factors that can impact your sentencing under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines:
- Whether anyone was injured
- What drug was involved
- Whether a firearm was involved
- Your prior criminal record, if any
- The drug crime you are charged with
Certain drug crimes have a maximum sentence of life in prison. You could also be ordered to pay massive fines. Don’t let a conviction change your entire life. A federal defense lawyer can help identify weaknesses in the case.
For example, if the number of drugs in question can be challenged, you may see drastically reduced penalties. Likewise, if your rights were violated or other problems exist with the case, you could secure a dismissal or prove your innocence in court.
Federal Sex Crimes in Roanoke
Most sex crimes are prosecuted at a state level, meaning they are not charged federally.
Some of these include:
However, some offenses involve multi-jurisdiction investigations and several agencies. When the situation warrants federal attention, you can face various federal sex crime charges with far worse penalties like prison and sex offender registration.
Some common federal sex crimes include:
- Distribution of child pornography
- Receipt of child pornography
- Production of child pornography
- Sexual abuse
- Human sex trafficking
- Aggravated sexual abuse
- Travel to abuse a child sexually
- Murder in the course of a sexual offense
- Recidivist possession
- Child Molesting Enterprise
- Certain internet sex crimes
These accusations alone are enough to destroy your reputation. But early intervention from a federal defense attorney can do a lot to improve matters.
Your attorney can sometimes clear up misunderstandings before formal charges are filed, provide insight into how you unknowingly had illicit materials in your possession, or be the difference in securing a favorable plea for less time and no registration.
Roanoke Federal Violent Crimes
Violent crimes carry the harshest penalties. Even at the state level, you could face life in prison without the possibility of parole. As with all federal crimes, violent federal crimes are far more severe than state charges.
Some of the more common federal violent crimes include:
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Conspiracy to murder
- Sexual abuse of a minor
When your liberty is on the line, you have to act. Your lawyer must be able to defend you.
Some of the potential defenses we could use in a federal violent crime trial include:
- Mistake of fact
- Mental incapacity
- Present an alibi
- Act of passion
Your Roanoke federal violent crime lawyer will examine the details of your case to determine which defense will work best for you.
Federal White-Collar Crimes in Roanoke
White-collar crimes are non-violent and usually involve government or business professionals. Usually, they involve one party attempting to further their financial interests in some way by defrauding someone else.
Some common federal white-collar crimes include:
- Insider trading
- Money laundering
- Healthcare fraud
- Tax offenses
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
These are only a few of the different federal white-collar offenses you could face, and the penalties are severe. Thirty years to life in prison is not unheard of for people convicted of a federal white-collar crime. Not to mention fines as high as $500,000.
As a business professional, these accusations could destroy your reputation. However, your attorney can develop strategies that consider the intricacies involved and argue that your actions did not rise to the level of a crime.
Your attorney can also pinpoint mistakes with complicated financial evidence and thoroughly investigate, so you are not taking the fall for someone else’s fraud.
Make sure you do everything you can to clear your name and protect yourself by calling a Roanoke federal criminal defense lawyer.
Federal Indictment Process in Roanoke
If this is your first time being arrested and charged with a federal crime in Roanoke, you may be unsure what will happen next. Understanding what to expect from your indictment may help ease your fears, and better prepare you for what’s to come.
Here is what you can expect from the federal criminal indictment process:
- You will appear before a Federal Magistrate
- The judge will inform you of your rights
- The judge will determine whether you should be released on bail or remain incarcerated
- We file pre-trial motions
- We may attempt to work out a plea agreement with the state
- If no plea agreement is reached, we go to trial
Contact a Roanoke Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you face federal criminal charges in Roanoke or anywhere in Southwest Virginia, your freedom is in jeopardy. No matter the accusation or stage of the investigation, you need an aggressive federal criminal defense lawyer to help.
Contact Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico to schedule your free, no-risk consultation. We can be reached at (540) 343-9349 or through our online contact form. We will discuss your situation, the charges, what to expect, and what we can do.