Amarillo Federal Crimes Lawyer
Challenging Federal Charges in Amarillo, TX
If you have been accused of a federal offense, you must contact a federal criminal attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer must develop a carefully crafted legal strategy to fight charges falling under federal jurisdiction. To do this, they must review relevant statutes and case law, examine and analyze evidence, and anticipate the prosecutor's arguments. Each step takes a considerable amount of time. The sooner you retain legal counsel, the sooner your attorney can defend you.
At Quackenbush Law Firm, I, Attorney Jesse Quackenbush, am ready to jump into action in your case. I have over 30 years of experience and have handled all types of criminal matters. Recognizing how much time and energy federal law enforcement agents and prosecutors invest in pursuing cases, I work tirelessly for the people I serve. My focus is on protecting my clients' rights and futures, which is why I aggressively defend them at every stage in their matters. No stranger to the courtroom, I know how to present compelling arguments in front of judges and juries to illuminate the weaknesses in the opposition's evidence.
What Is a Federal Crime?
Federal criminal charges arise when an offense meets certain conditions. For example, the alleged offender may have been accused of violating a federal law, committing an illegal act on federal property, or engaging in conduct that crossed state lines or federal borders.
When a person is suspected of a federal crime, big name agencies, such as the FBI, DEA, or U.S. Secret Service, begin an extensive investigation. Sometimes, the agencies collaborate to identify a suspect and gather evidence to warrant an arrest.
When agents believe that they have collected sufficient evidence against the accused, they will hand the file over to a federal prosecutor who determines whether official charges are filed. Federal cases are prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys, tried in federal courts, and heard by federal judges. They are very complex matters, requiring the assistance of a skilled Amarillo, TX, federal crimes attorney.
What Are Examples of Federal Offenses?
The United States Code lists various types of conduct considered federal crimes.
A few examples include:
- Immigration offenses: These are some of the most common federal felonies committed. They include unlawfully remaining in the U.S., unlawfully reentering the U.S., or alien smuggling.
- Drug crimes: Controlled substances offenses include trafficking in drugs. For instance, if a person manufactures, distributes, or dispenses a 1-kilogram mixture with a detectable amount of heroin, they may face up to 10 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000,000.
- Firearms offenses: A range of conduct may be prosecuted as federal firearm crimes. Examples include possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, knowingly providing a firearm to a prohibited person, possession or use of a firearm during a drug crime or crime of violence, possessing a firearm in a school zone, and knowingly possessing or manufacturing a prohibited weapon. The penalties vary depending on the acts involved and can range from 5 years to life imprisonment.
- Money laundering: This offense involves knowingly conducting transactions with illicit proceeds with the intent to avoid reporting requirements, conceal the source of the funds, or commit tax fraud. Money laundering can be penalized by imprisonment for not more than 20 years.
- Robbery: Federal robbery offenses can include such acts as taking, receiving, or concealing property of a financial institution or taking controlled substances from an agent or employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
- Sexual abuse: Broadly, sexual abuse concerns engaging in unlawful sexual activity with another person. Several offenses fall under this category, including aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a minor or ward, and abusive sexual contact.
- Fraud, theft, and embezzlement: Economic offenses include, but are not limited to, mail and wire fraud, health care fraud, embezzlement by a bank officer, theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan, and theft of medical products.
- Child pornography: Child pornography offenses involve a range of conduct, such as producing, possessing, transporting, or receiving sexually explicit material involving a minor. Depending on the nature of the offense, a conviction can lead to anywhere from 5 to 30 years of imprisonment, provided no aggravating factors are present.
Regardless of the offense you have been accused of, you need a hard-hitting federal criminal lawyer in Amarillo on your side. I am prepared to go to bat for you. Taking the time to hear about the situation from your perspective, I will ensure that your voice is heard and will zealously advocate on your behalf.
What Is a Federal Felony Crime?
A federal offense is considered a felony if it carries a certain term of imprisonment.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 3559, federal felonies are classified as follows:
- Class A felony: Punishable by life imprisonment or death
- Class B felony: Punishable by 25 years or more of imprisonment
- Class C felony: Punishable by 10 years or more but less than 25 years of imprisonment
- Class D felony: Punishable by 5 years or more but less than 10 years of imprisonment
- Class E felony: Punishable by 1 year or more but less than 5 years of imprisonment
Facing a federal felony charge is serious, but being accused does not mean you are guilty or, if you did make a mistake, does not mean you must suffer the maximum penalties. Do not lose hope. A federal criminal attorney in Amarillo, TX, can evaluate your case and determine the legal options available to seek a favorable result. I am here to help fight the allegations against you.
What Are the Federal Sentencing Guidelines?
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are the non-binding rules federal judges refer to when deciding on penalties for a federal crime conviction. They serve as a starting point for sentencing. The judge has the discretion to make a downward or upward departure based on the defendant’s criminal history and aggravating and mitigating factors. An Amarillo Federal Sentencing Guideline attorney can seek to minimize the penalties their client faces.
One way to pursue a reduced sentence upon a conviction for a federal crime is by filing a 5K motion. Section 5K1.1 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines provides that a defendant may be eligible for a penalty reduction if they substantially assist the government in investigating or prosecuting someone else who committed a federal crime.
The judge may consider a departure from the sentencing guidelines based on:
- How significant and useful the defendant’s information was;
- How truthful, complete, and reliable the information was;
- How the defendant assisted;
- Whether the defendant or their family was injured or at risk of harm because of their assistance;
- How timely the defendant’s assistance was.
I can evaluate your case and determine whether a 5K sentence reduction motion can be filed to pursue lesser penalties. Speak with me about your options.
Talk to an Amarillo Federal Crimes Lawyer Today
The federal judicial process can be complex. If you are facing charges, you need an attorney on your side who knows how to navigate the system and can competently guide you from the beginning of your case until its conclusion. With my knowledge, experience, and talents, I can deliver sound counsel, standing by your side when you need me and ensuring you understand what your case entails and what your options are.