Violent crimes like murder, manslaughter, assault and battery are some of the most heavily prosecuted crimes in the United States and when these crimes are charged as federal offenses, the penalties associated with a conviction can be devastating, possibly resulting in years in prison, a life sentence or, in the most serious cases, even the death penalty. If you have been arrested for a violent crime, or if you have been targeted by a federal violent crime investigation, you will need the legal expertise of a seasoned federal criminal defense attorney on your side, to present the strongest possible defense and improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. At Federal Criminal Defense Pro, our trial-tested defense attorneys offer the highest-quality legal representation in some of the toughest federal criminal cases, including those involving serious violent crimes.
Qualified Violent Crimes Defense Attorney
When you are accused of committing a crime that violates state law, your case is tried in state court, but when you are charged with a federal crime, it is because you violated federal law and your case will be tried in federal court by a federal prosecutor representing the U.S. Attorney’s office. The federal court system has a different set of rules and procedures than the state courts and you need to make sure you have a defense attorney on your side who is licensed and equipped to handle the challenges of federal court. Federal offenses typically carry higher fines and longer terms of imprisonment than California state crimes, possibly up to life in federal prison or even the death penalty, and the stakes in a federal criminal case are therefore extremely high.
Attorney Daniel R. Perlman is a former prosecutor and his defense team at Federal Criminal Defense Pro has years of experience defending clients against violent crimes and other criminal offenses in state and federal court. Our criminal defense attorneys at Federal Criminal Defense Pro represent clients at both the state level in California and at the federal level in all 50 states and we can mount a strong defense in your federal case no matter what criminal charges you are facing. We believe that defendants in all federal cases, no matter how severe the alleged crime, have the right to capable and competent legal representation and that is what we offer at Federal Criminal Defense Pro. We understand that every federal violent crime case is unique and when you hire our firm, we will put our expertise to work for you.
Types of Violent Crimes
A violent crime is any criminal offense that is violent in nature, meaning the person accused of committing the crime used or threatened to use force upon the alleged victim. Title 18 of the United States Code Section 16 further defines a “crime of violence” as: “(a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or (b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.” Some examples of violent crimes that can be prosecuted in federal court include the following:
- Murder – The unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought
- Manslaughter – The unlawful killing of a human being without malice
- Assault – An unlawful physical attack or threat of attack against another person
- Aggravated assault – An attack or attempted attack against another person with a weapon or an attack without a weapon that results in serious bodily injury
- Sexual assault – Committing a sexual act upon another person without that person’s consent
- Rape – Forced sexual intercourse carried out by either physical force or psychological coercion
- Kidnapping (Abduction) – The unlawful taking of a person from one place to another against that person’s will
- Weapons offenses – Crimes involving the unlawful use of a firearm
- Homicide crimes – The unlawful killing of another person
- Armed robbery – Taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force, or by putting the victim in fear of his or her life
What Makes a Violent Crime a Federal Offense?
Most violent crimes in Los Angeles are handled by the state court, but there are certain cases in which the federal authorities may become involved, particularly those involving organized crime, kidnappings, mass killings, serial killings or sniper murders. Gang violence, hate crimes, terrorist threats and violent crimes against children may also result in intervention by federal agencies like the FBI, which “continues to play a key role in combatting violent crime in big cities and local communities across the United States,” and prosecution by the federal government. Furthermore, any time you are accused of violating federal law, committing a crime on federal property or committing a crime that crosses state lines, you can be charged with a federal offense.
Prosecution of Violent Crimes
Any violent crime is serious, but those that are prosecuted at the federal level are even more so, and any individual facing federal charges for a violent crime in federal court is sure to face severe penalties under the federal sentencing guidelines. This is because violent crimes are generally viewed as morally objectionable crimes deserving of the harshest punishment and when a person is accused of committing a violent crime in violation of federal law, the stakes are higher than ever. If you are facing criminal charges in federal court, depending on your criminal history and the nature of the charges against you, a conviction for a violent crime can carry a punishment of years in prison, a life sentence or possibly even the death penalty, a devastating punishment reserved for the most serious criminal offenses.
Violent crimes are often closely tied to drug crimes and weapons offenses, including those involving the possession, transportation, manufacturing or distribution of drugs, firearms and other deadly weapons, and if you are charged with multiple criminal acts of this kind, you could face increased penalties upon conviction. In addition to facing harsh criminal penalties, individuals accused of weapons-related crimes may be subject to forfeiture of any money or assets associated with the criminal activity they are accused of committing. Any person convicted of a violent crime in federal court will also have a permanent criminal record that will appear on any background check run by a potential employer or landlord.
Violent Crimes Defense
Allegations of a violent crime put your freedom and your reputation at risk, but it is important to remember that just because you have been accused of committing a violent crime does not necessarily mean you will be found guilty and sent to prison. It is true that when it comes to trying violent crimes in federal court, federal prosecutors have the force of the government behind them, plus the benefit of nearly unlimited resources that they can use to pursue a conviction and impose harsh penalties upon offenders. However, even in the most serious violent crime case, the burden of proof still lies with the prosecution, which means the government can only prove its case and get a conviction if it can establish the various elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
As an example, if you are accused of committing murder in violation of federal law, the federal government can only find you guilty of the crime if it can prove that you committed the crime with “malice aforethought,” which is one of the most important elements of a murder charge. Malice aforethought is the intent to kill or cause harm, and if the prosecution is unable to establish the malice aforethought element, you cannot lawfully be convicted of the crime of murder.
Violent crimes like assault, battery, and weapons offenses are not terribly uncommon occurrences in Los Angeles and Southern California, but far too often, violent crime charges are based on circumstantial evidence and sloppy investigative techniques, which results in innocent individuals being charged with serious crimes they did not commit. And as a result of overzealous prosecution by the federal government, many of these defendants are wrongfully convicted and sent to prison for years or for life, or if the prosecution seeks the death penalty, sentenced to death.
Defense Strategies for Federal Violent Crime Charges
Being charged with a federal crime is a frightening and intimidating experience, and it is normal to feel like the prosecution’s case against you is ironclad, but there is always a defense strategy your attorney can use to challenge the prosecution’s evidence or minimize the consequences of a conviction. The following are some potential defense strategies for a murder case:
- You were acting in self-defense or in defense of another person
- You were falsely accused by the alleged victim
- You are the victim of mistaken identity
- You did not intend to harm or kill the other person
- The killing occurred as a result of an accident
- The prosecution lacks enough evidence to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
- The prosecution’s evidence against you was obtained as a result of an illegal search of your property
How a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
At Federal Criminal Defense Pro, our lawyers have a clear understanding of federal criminal law and the federal sentencing guidelines and we know how to defend your rights in federal court and help you get the best outcome possible in your case. Any time you are charged with a federal violent crime like murder or a weapons offense, you need to do everything in your power to set yourself up for success from the very beginning, and that includes retaining an aggressive and experienced federal criminal defense attorney with a proven history of success defending clients against violent crimes in federal court. When you hire Federal Criminal Defense Pro, our defense attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your charges, interview any witnesses to the alleged crime, deal with the federal authorities on your behalf, negotiate with the prosecution and represent your best interests in court.
Under the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to an attorney, and when it comes to choosing the best possible attorney to represent your defense in a federal violent crime case, there is no substitute for skill, confidence and years of practical experience. At Federal Criminal Defense Pro, our defense lawyers are committed to providing clients with expert legal representation and personalized attention and we will work tirelessly to ensure that you understand the charges against you, your rights and options under the law and what you can expect from the federal court process. Federal Criminal Defense Pro is based in Los Angeles, California and offers federal criminal defense representation across the country. We also offer prospective clients a free initial consultation with an experienced defense attorney, which means you can learn more about your rights and options, with no obligation to hire our firm. Contact our law firm today to have a federal criminal defense lawyer review your case.
Contact Our Violent Crime Defense Lawyers Today
Any time you are facing criminal charges for a violent federal offense like murder, armed robbery or manslaughter, you can be sure that the prosecution will go above and beyond to convict you of the crime and send you to prison and it is critical that you have someone on your side working just as hard to keep you out of prison and clear your name. When you retain the legal services of Federal Criminal Defense Pro, our reputable defense lawyers will stand by your side throughout the duration of your criminal case and work tirelessly to raise a credible defense on your behalf so you can avoid a criminal conviction. If you or someone you love has been accused of or arrested for a federal violent crime, consult our knowledgeable defense attorneys at Federal Criminal Defense Pro today. The outcome of your criminal case hinges on the quality of your legal representation and our defense attorneys can help.