Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Greenville, South Carolina

Have you been charged with a crime in federal court? The federal criminal justice system is more than just the U.S. Supreme Court. Here in South Carolina, federal law enforcement, prosecutors and judges make up a powerful and sophisticated system that can put people behind bars for a long time.

At Roberts Law Firm, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in criminal defense at the federal level. If you or a loved one has been charged with a federal crime, contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.

Our Approach To Federal Crimes Defense In Greensville, South Carolina

Unlike in South Carolina criminal law, there are no misdemeanors in federal law. That means you are at risk of a prison sentence if you are convicted of just about any federal crime. There are strict guidelines regarding sentencing for federal crimes that largely ignore your particular circumstances.

With your freedom at stake, you need a team of defense attorneys familiar with the federal court system and skilled enough to give you a fair chance at a just outcome. Our criminal defense attorneys know how to work within the federal system to defend against a variety of charges, including:

  • Drug crimes, such as trafficking, cultivating and manufacturing
  • Violent crimes
  • Internet crimes, such as identity theft and child pornography
  • Tax fraud
  • Medicare/Medicaid fraud
  • Kidnapping, such as illegal transportation of a child across state lines

Our law firm combines decades of experience with a team-based approach to your case. We combine resources and ideas to give the full benefit of our knowledge, talent and skill in this challenging legal field.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Working Toward Your Best Interests

There is a great deal of overlap between South Carolina and federal law. Often, our clients are mistakenly overcharged in federal court when less severe state charges would be more appropriate. If that is true in your case, we will work diligently to get your case addressed at the state level instead, which could dramatically reduce the nature of the criminal charges against you and improve your chances of a minimal impact on your future. Of course, we are also committed to getting charges reduced or dismissed whenever possible.

Our federal criminal lawyers are capable of analyzing the prosecution's case and determining what kind of plea deal they would most likely accept. We will never urge you to accept a deal that is not in your best interests. Instead, we will make your rights our first priority. And we will always be prepared to go to trial if the prosecutor will not be reasonable.

How To Choose A Federal Crimes Defense Lawyer In Greenville, South Carolina

Not every criminal defense lawyer takes cases in federal court. Or if they do, it is a small part of their practice, not something they do often. Our attorneys regularly represent clients at federal courthouses throughout South Carolina, defending them against some of the most serious charges on the books.

What You Should Expect From Your Attorney

When you are dealing with federal criminal charges in Greenville or elsewhere in South Carolina, it is time to retain a top-quality criminal defense attorney. How do you know when you have found a good one? Here is what we recommend:

  • Experience in federal court. The federal criminal justice system is different than what goes on at the state level. Your attorney needs to know the nuts and bolts of grand juries, filing motions, getting ahold of evidence for review, negotiating with the prosecutors and dealing with federal judges.
  • Access to resources. Complex charges, such as white collar crimes, often require a team approach. The right federal criminal lawyer will use expert witnesses who are leaders in their fields when necessary to help them prepare a solid defense. They will also consult with their colleagues at their law firm to gain the benefit of their experience and points of view.
  • Courage. The power of federal law enforcement and prosecutors can be intimidating for defendants. Backed by their experience and self-confidence, a good defense attorney will help you understand the limits of that power. They will enforce your Constitutional rights as affirmed by the Supreme Court and fight to ensure you get a fair trial.

Aggressive Federal Defense Attorneys In Eastern South Carolina

At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, we believe everybody charged with a crime is entitled to experienced criminal defense. Our team of attorneys will help you confront the charges. We will listen to you when you ask questions and tell you the truth. We will not give up on you. We will strive to resolve your case as efficiently as possible - without forcing you to take an unfavorable deal.

Understanding The Legal Process For Federal Offenses In South Carolina

As with state-level criminal cases, most federal cases begin with an arrest. The law enforcement agency must have a proper arrest warrant signed by a judge to arrest you, or else be able to show they had probable cause to do so. If not, you may be able to show you were the victim of wrongful arrest and get the charges dropped.

Many federal crimes are similar to state-level charges, though some are at the federal level only. Common federal charges include:

  • Drug trafficking, manufacturing and other drug-related crimes
  • Certain white collar crimes like wire fraud, Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud and identity theft
  • Internet crimes like receiving or distributing child pornography
  • Kidnapping, often involving a parent accused of transporting a child across state lines without permission

Once you are booked into jail and after a limited period of time in custody, you will go to court for your arraignment, which gives you the chance to ask for pre-trial release. At this hearing, the judge must decide if you are eligible for release on your personal recognizance (basically, your promise that you will appear in court) or conditional release. Conditions for release vary, and can include executing a bail bond, staying away from alleged victims or witnesses, and obeying travel restrictions. Your attorney can represent you at the hearing and argue to the judge why you should not be kept in jail.

The Grand Jury

Many federal cases proceed to presenting evidence before a grand jury. This is not the same thing as a trial. The grand jury's job is not to decide if you are guilty or not guilty. Instead, they determine if there is enough evidence against you to move forward. If the grand jury rules that the evidence is sufficient, your case will continue. Again, this does not mean you have been convicted of anything.

Preparing For Trial

Pre-trial preparation for your attorney usually includes discussing the charges with you, combing through the evidence and weighing possible outcomes. One thing to keep in mind is that federal law includes mandatory minimum sentences for many convictions, even several nonviolent crimes. Our strategy generally involves examining the evidence, looking for gaps in prosecution's case or signs of illegal police procedure. We will also interview witnesses and consult with expert witnesses where appropriate. We may try to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

What We Do For Our Federal Clients

We are often able to resolve federal criminal cases before trial, saving our clients time and uncertainty. However, if the prosecutors are unwilling to treat you fairly, we won't hesitate to fight for you at trial. We will construct a clear and persuasive case to present to the jury. As trial proceeds, your chances of reaching an acceptable plea deal may improve. Either way, we will stand for your interests until your case is finished - and potentially beyond.

For parents of minors who were arrested, please note that the juvenile justice system is different than the adult version. Though sentences are generally more lenient, in many cases the prosecution will ask the court to try your child as an adult. In theory, your child could be incarcerated with much older adults. Our attorneys will argue against this and fight to avoid injustice for your son or daughter.

Because our attorneys are so familiar with federal criminal procedure, we are able to provide you with knowledgeable representation, combined with the personal attention of a boutique criminal defense law firm. Our lawyers will give personal attention to your case. No matter how hopeless things might seem, there are ways we can help you.

Court-Appointed Versus Private Attorneys In South Carolina Federal Crimes Defense

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that everyone charged with a crime has the right to an attorney to defend them. If you are unable to afford an attorney, the judge will provide you with a court-appointed lawyer. Court-appointed public defenders, like private attorneys, must be properly licensed and admitted to federal courts. They must also belong to the South Carolina Bar Association.

Are you wondering if you qualify for a public defender, or if you should retain a private defense attorney to help you with your federal criminal charges? To start with, you should know that in order to qualify for a federal public defender, you must prove to the judge that you are indigent and unable to afford to pay legal fees.

Generally, your chance to request a public defender occurs at your arraignment, which is your first court appearance. The judge will ask you if you have an attorney representing you, and will ask you about your income and financial resources to make sure you qualify. In capital cases where the death penalty is possible, federal law requires that two attorneys defend you, including at least one experienced with these cases.

Should I Hire A Private Attorney Instead?

The public defender system is important to ensure that everyone charged with a crime has legal counsel. But there are many reasons you should consider hiring a private attorney to represent you instead. For one thing, public defenders typically are overworked with huge caseloads, so they cannot give your case the close attention and effort you deserve. On the other hand, a defense attorney in private practice will take the time to give you a viable defense strategy based on the evidence and the law.

In addition, when you choose your own defense attorney, you get to decide on an individual you can work closely with. You do not get to choose whom the court appoints when you ask for a public defender.

Our attorneys are committed to giving our clients the best chance possible of overcoming federal criminal charges and avoiding prison. We have decades of collective experience practicing both state and federal criminal law. We are not afraid to stand up to federal judges and prosecutors to defend your rights. You can count on us to help you no matter how serious or complex your case is.

Experienced Federal Defense Attorneys | FREE Legal Consultation

Contact Roberts Law Group, PLLC, at 877-880-5753 or reach us online to schedule your free legal consultation about the federal charges. Ask for our Greenville attorney. We encourage you to contact us as soon as you can after your arrest.