A Guide to Hiring a Federal Defense Lawyer

by | Jul 5, 2017 | Attorney

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Those facing federal investigations or criminal charges can benefit from representation by a Federal Defense Lawyer. Although similar principles apply to choosing a federal defense lawyer or any other criminal attorney, those hiring a counselor for a federal case should ensure they choose an attorney who has significant experience with the federal criminal system.

Federal Criminal Law

The federal legal system is much like those employed by various states, but it has a few notable differences as discussed below.

  • A U.S. Attorney’s office, which is responsible for the prosecution of federal criminal cases, typically has substantially more resources and time to devote to a particular case than a state prosecutor.

Federal prosecutorial teams generally have more solid academic credentials than a state prosecutor may have.

Unlike a state prosecutor, a federal prosecutor often has considerable leeway in choosing the cases they want to prosecute in the federal court system. This means a federal prosecutor can concentrate on cases they believe have more merit or ones they find particularly compelling.

Except for crimes occurring on federal property, criminal cases that fall under the purview of federal prosecutors usually involve criminal acts that cross state lines. These cases are likely to be more factually and legally complex than state prosecutions are.

Federal Public Defense

Because of the complex nature and difficulty of federal criminal cases, it can be difficult to provide an adequate defense. These cases are harder to defend than similar charges filed in a state’s court, and the costs of such a defense can be very high. Every federal jurisdiction has a federal defense office that offers legal counsel to defendants who cannot afford to hire a private Federal Defense Lawyer.

What Makes Federal Cases Different

Generally, federal charges carry harsher penalties than similar cases tried in state courts. Unlike a state case where probation is a typical punishment, it’s rare to earn a probation sentence or plea deal in federal court. In state courts, attorneys only have to file a discovery demand to receive all relevant information from the other side, but this is not true in the federal court system. According to the Jencks Act, the U.S. government is not required to provide witness statements until the defense requests them and the witness has already testified. Visit to learn how a federal defense attorney can help clients even the odds between themselves and the government. You can also follow them on Twitter for more information.

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