If you or a loved one were arrested for a federal offense, the subject of a federal criminal investigation, or are facing a federal grand jury indictment, it’s imperative that you retain counsel immediately.
Houston criminal law attorney Tad Nelson is qualified to represent defendants in federal court settings. He is highly experienced when it comes to matters requiring criminal defense litigation, and is one of 10% of Texas criminal defense lawyers who are Board Certified® in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. If you need professional legal counsel for a federal case, we’re ready to help.
Fighting Federal Charges
The differences between fighting federal and state charges are like night and day.
When facing a prosecuting attorney that has the resources of the United States Department of Justice, the normal routine of case preparation, legal research, and the manner/methodology/intensity of the investigation conducted by the defense will have to match or come close to that of the prosecution for the defense to have a fighting chance.
Resource: Federal Drug Schedule
Fighting Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges
In criminal cases where the federal government has accused a person of a federal drug conspiracy, the United States’ Prosecuting Attorney only has to prove two things to get a conviction;
- There was an agreement between 2 or more people that would violate federal drug laws,
- and The person accused – joined, or got involved in the agreement that violates federal drug laws.
- The person accused wasn’t aware of the plan.
- Example: A freight transport trucker who may not be aware that illegal drugs are in his load.
- The government has proved a different conspiracy or crime than the one for which the defendant was indicted.
- Example: The government may prove you are a drug dealer, but not that you were part of a conspiracy.
- The defendant withdrew from the agreement that violates federal drug laws.
- Example: You made the decision to end your involvement in the drug conspiracy.
- Evidence suppression.
- Example: If the evidence against you was illegally collected, it might be thrown out which usually leaves no basis for prosecution.
The government doesn’t have to prove the person they’ve charged distributed drugs, that the accused was ever in possession of, or in the vicinity of the drugs. Depending on the amount of drugs involved in the case, the mandatory minimum sentence, if convicted, can be 5, 10, 20, 40 years, and sometimes mandatory life. Generally, mandatory life sentencing is reserved for federal drug felons with a previous criminal history that includes 2 previous drug convictions.
Avoiding The Mandatory Minimum
There are only 2 ways to avoid mandatory minimum sentencing if you were convicted of a federal drug conspiracy.
- Substantial Assistance – The act of helping the federal government. The government decides whether or not the assistance provided was sufficiently substantial. There can situations where a person cooperates and isn’t given a reduced sentence. If you don’t please the federal government, you will not be able to avoid the mandatory minimum sentence that applies to your case.
- Safety Valve Reduction – For people with limited or no previous criminal history. There couldn’t have been a firearm or any violence involved in the case, and the person could not have been the leader in the drug conspiracy. This will require a personal consultation with the government. Again, the government will decide on whether or not to allow the defendant out of a mandatory minimum sentence.
Timing Is Everything
In some cases, depending on how early you retain counsel, the need for a fully staffed legal team can be limited. However, in cases where preparation time is limited, we ask the understanding of our need to deploy hired assets to make the most efficient use of time in cases where we are replacing previous counsel, or are hired in last minute situations.
Call Houston Attorney Tad Nelson For Help
Hiring the right Houston criminal defense lawyer in sensitive situations such as fighting criminal charges from the federal government is paramount. The attorneys of Tad Nelson & Associates are skilled and ready to help. We are fierce fighters by nature and operate under the culture of seriousness. When constructing a solid defense strategy for our clients, we take no shortcuts.
If You Need Federal Defense Lawyers, We’re Ready
Contact attorney Tad Nelson if you need legal representation for federal offenses or want more information about how we can help you with the following;
- Grand Jury Proceedings,
- Immigration Violation Cases,
- Rico Act Violations,
- Espionage & Economic Espionage,
- Kidnapping & Serial Homicide,
- Human Trafficking,
- Possession of Child Pornography,
- Tax Fraud, and Bank Robbery,
- Counterfeiting Federal Reserve Notes, or other documents,
- Federal Drug Crimes,
- and Conspiracy Charges.
Are you facing the United States of America in the court of law over allegations of a criminal act? Houston defense lawyer Tad Nelson is here to help. Call 713-659-0909 to schedule a meeting with our legal team. We’ll go over your case and give you our professional oversight.