There are state and federal laws in the U.S. that regulate gun possession, the use of guns, and other gun-related conduct, and provide criminal penalties for offenders. Most gun offenses in Portland are violations of state law investigated by local law enforcement and prosecuted in a state criminal court. However, there are a number of firearm offenses that may trigger an investigation by federal agents and be prosecuted in federal court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Federal gun statutes restrict the possession, purchase, sale, manufacturing, and distribution of firearms, and ban certain illegal firearms, such as machine guns and semiautomatic assault weapons. These laws also prohibit the sale of firearms to certain restricted classes of people, including convicted felons. Some common gun offenses that may be prosecuted in federal court include illegal possession of a firearm, trafficking in firearms, and any federal offense that involves the use of a firearm. If you have been arrested or charged with a federal gun crime, you need a federal gun lawyer in Portland to represent your defense.
Fighting firearm charges at the federal level calls for the expertise of a defense attorney who has experience handling criminal cases like yours. Federal firearm offenses are taken extremely seriously in the U.S., and the penalties associated with a conviction can be severe and long-lasting. Only a knowledgeable federal gun lawyer in Portland can provide you with the level of support and legal assistance your federal criminal case demands.
Going up against the federal government in a gun case is no simple feat. Federal criminal cases are complex and federal prosecutors are notoriously aggressive in their prosecution of weapons offenses and violent crimes. If you are innocent of the crime, you may think that you can rely on the criminal justice system to work the way it’s meant to. After all, the presumption of innocence states that you are not legally considered guilty unless the prosecution can present enough evidence to convince a judge or jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That being said, the criminal justice system is imperfect and wrongful convictions happen all the time. And when federal gun charges are at play, there is far too much on the line to put your case in the hands of anyone but a proven legal expert. You need a federal gun lawyer who will protect your legal rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your criminal case.
Criminal cases brought in federal court are vastly different from state criminal cases. Federal gun crimes are investigated by federal law enforcement officers and are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Any person charged with a federal gun crime will appear in federal court in front of a federal judge, and if that person is convicted and sentenced to prison, the sentence will be served in a federal prison.
While defendants convicted of criminal offenses in state court are often able to avoid incarceration, most criminal defendants convicted in federal court end up serving time in prison. And when the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and mandatory minimums come into play, those federal prison sentences can be lengthy, even for first offenses. Furthermore, because parole has been eliminated in the federal criminal justice system, convicted offenders typically serve at least 85% of their sentences, which, depending on the crime, may be many years.
If you are facing federal charges for a weapons offense, you need a federal gun lawyer in your corner who is familiar with the court process and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Only an attorney who has experience with the federal court system can adequately represent you in your criminal case.
You may not expect criminal defense attorneys to foster relationships with the prosecutors and judges they go up against in court. However, it is not uncommon for defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges who work together often enough to develop relationships built on respect, professionalism, and communication. If you are facing criminal charges for a federal gun violation, choosing a federal defense attorney who knows the federal judges and prosecutors can actually work in your favor. Depending on your specific circumstances, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charge or prevent charges from being filed in the first place.
Getting a leg up on the prosecution means looking for weaknesses in the government’s case that can be used to your advantage. This same strategy can be applied to challenging federal gun charges at trial or in negotiating a more favorable plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. If done early enough, it may even be possible to influence the prosecutor’s filing decision, which could result in the filing of a criminal charge that is less serious than the crime for which you were arrested. To successfully challenge the prosecution’s evidence, it takes a skilled federal defense attorney who is familiar with U.S. firearm laws and who can expertly gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the government’s case against you.
Given the wide breadth of U.S. firearm statutes, you may not be surprised to learn that federal gun charges in the U.S. are not rare. In fact, in a 2022 report on federal firearm offenses, the U.S. Sentencing Commission notes that “Firearms offenses are among the most common crimes prosecuted and sentenced in federal court.” And while federal firearm offenders are often publicly perceived as violent criminals, the report contends that the vast majority of federal gun crimes in 2021 involved illegal possession of a firearm, in many cases without aggravating circumstances or a history of violence.
As you can see, federal law covers a wide variety of conduct that can result in criminal charges, and the consequences of a conviction at the federal level can be life-changing, even for a non-violent offense. However, there are often legal defenses to these charges that our federal gun lawyers can present to the court. Being charged with a firearm offense in federal court may seem like the end of the world, but all is not lost. Our fierce legal advocates have represented many clients charged with federal gun crimes, and we can help you put forth a compelling defense against your charges. From the moment you hire our firm to represent you, we will work tirelessly to get you the best possible result in your federal gun case.
Facing a federal criminal charge is a very serious matter. Once you have discovered that you are the target or subject of a federal criminal investigation, you must act immediately to protect your rights and freedom. While any federal criminal allegation poses a potential threat to your liberty, gun-related charges are particularly perilous and therefore require immediate attention from an accomplished defense attorney. You can schedule a risk-free consultation with our federal gun lawyers in Portland to find out how we can assist you with your criminal case. Call us today at (888) 901-2111.