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Should I Hire a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer?

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If you are under investigation, or if you have been arrested for a federal offense, you should hire a federal criminal defense lawyer. The Bureau of Prisons reports that there are 177,286 federal inmates in prison in the United States as of August 1, 2019. The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world. The average prison sentence for all federal prisoners was 55.4 months in 2014, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The average sentence for drug offenses in the federal system is 77.6 months. Yes, the United States locks people up at a higher rate than any other country.

The Department of Justice targets federal offenses. The FBI is one of the leading agencies but there are other federal agencies such as:

  • the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),
  • the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF),
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),
  • the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),
  • United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and
  • the Secret Service.

Also, the government puts together task forces made up of federal, state and local agencies to investigate federal crimes. Many United States Attorneys work closely with the task forces. In other words, the U.S. Attorney’s office has the time and money to investigate and prosecute federal offenses. If you are being investigated for a federal crime you may want an attorney with state and federal experience.

What Are the Most Common Type of Federal Offenses?

The United States Sentencing Commission reports that the most common federal crimes are:

  • Drugs – In 2016 drug cases accounted for 31.6 percent of federal cases. Most of those cases were drug trafficking offenses.
  • Immigration – Immigration cases accounted for 29.6 percent of federal cases.
  • Fraud – Fraud cases accounted for 9.6 percent of federal cases.
  • Firearms – Firearms cases accounted for 10.8 percent of the federal cases.

Federal crimes include mail fraud, aircraft hijacking, carjacking, kidnapping, bank robbery, child pornography, credit card fraud, identity theft, computer crimes, federal hate crimes, federal racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act (RICO), obscenity, tax evasion, counterfeiting and immigration offenses.

In drug-related federal offenses, mandatory minimums apply when a defendant manufactures, sells, imports/exports traffics or cultivates illegal substances.

Can I Avoid a Minimum Mandatory Sentence?

Congress has passed the “Safety Valve” statute. The safety-valve statute allows judges to impose sentences below the mandatory minimum if you meet certain requirements. If you meet the safety-valve requirements, the judge can sentence you to less than the mandatory minimum number of months in prison.

Dealing with the federal government is a very serious business. They have the time and resources to investigate and prosecute federal offenses. Federal convictions mean the possibility of lengthy prison sentences without the possibility of parole, expensive fines and asset forfeiture that can leave you with nothing. The U.S. Attorney’s office will have unlimited resources at its disposal. A federal criminal defense lawyer can help level the playing field, protect your rights and see that you get a fair shake.

If you are under investigation or have been arrested for a federal offense, you may be facing a very serious fight and a long prison sentence. Not every attorney has the qualifications and experience to handle federal charges.

If you or a loved one need legal assistance with a federal criminal charge call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813 229-5353.

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez defends individuals charged with a misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida. With more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and hundreds of jury trials, Daniel earned tremendous accolades from judges, other lawyers, defendants, and even jurors. Daniel started his legal career as a state prosecutor and became the chief of the Narcotics division before opening his own law practice in 1985.

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Recent Reviews

Irene Meadows
Irene Meadows
21:56 11 Dec 19
If you need an attorney who is compassionate, knowledgeable and will be there every step of the way for you and your family during a difficult and challenging time in your life, you have made the right decision with Daniel Fernandez and his staff. Mr. Daniel Fernandez and his staff treat you like a member of their family. My husband and I would highly recommend you contact the law office of Daniel J. Fernandez. You will be glad you did.read more
A Google User
A Google User
14:27 11 Dec 19
Great Experience, attorney Daniel J Fernandez was extremely kind, and explained everything in great detail. The staff at the office was excellent! Great experience would recommend the attorney to anyone.read more
Luella Nelson
Luella Nelson
23:30 10 Dec 19
Attorney Daniel Fernandez My daughter was facing a few issues that was going to effect her for a very long time. I did not know which direction to turn or what to do. I googled 5 star attorney's and Mr. Fernandez's name displayed. I called his office and spoke to his paralegal Austin. He was very kind, understanding and gave me peace of mind just by speaking to me. I then met Mr. Fernandez shortly thereafter. This Attorney is very kind, compassionate, understanding and truly cares about his clients. His proven results were simply phenomenal. He basically saved my daughter from going away for a very long time instead she is going to receive some medical treatment and soon released with a short period of supervision. Afterwards Mr. Fernandez sat down with me and explained the out come and also has a plan for her moving forward. I know that each situation is different however this attorney not only has proven results he cares and looks for cures for his clients. If your in need of an attorney for any situation I suggest that you call Attorney Daniel Fernandez. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. -----Original Message-----read more
Joe Blanco
Joe Blanco
01:48 07 Dec 19
Daniel Fernandez is by far the best criminal defense attorney in the Tampa Bay area. I have used Mr. Fernandez for several years to help my son with several issues he has faced. He compassionate, informative, and reliable. If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer I highly recommend you to hire Mr. Fernandezread more
Anjeanette Blanco
Anjeanette Blanco
22:37 06 Dec 19
Daniel J. Fernandez has been my lawyer for 25 years and he is amazing! He is always available when needed and goes above beyond. His entire office staff is always friendly and helpful. I highly recommend Mr. Fernandez.read more
Nicole Tarantelli
Nicole Tarantelli
17:36 02 Dec 19
I am so pleased with the experience I had with everyone in their office. The service was excellent! Everyone was kind and patient. I mostly dealt with Austin. He did everything he said and always returned my calls the same day. I am incredibly grateful for all the hard work!read more
Cheryl Stinson
Cheryl Stinson
14:41 22 Nov 19
Daniel Fernandez represented us in a violation of probation in dade city'. He did a great job. Judge was going to sentence my friend to one year in jail .Mr. Fernandez argued for 60 days and hot the court down to 70 days .thank you for your help Mr.Fernandezread more
gilbert Lozada
gilbert Lozada
18:23 01 Nov 19
Great work Mr. Daniel J Fernandez he is very knowledgeable as a defense attorney I will Highly recommended his services to anyone.Thank youread more
stephanie santiago
stephanie santiago
18:13 21 Oct 19
Im so pleased with Daniel Fernandez. He was able to get my husbands case to go better than what we thought it was. Thank you so muchread more
Jose Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez
13:39 25 Sep 19
I don't have enough words to describe how amazing the experience with attorney Fernandez was. I could not have asked for better services. Attorney Fernandez was very professional throughout the legal process which resulted in a positive outcome. Thank you again attorney Fernandez for giving my family and me peace of mind.read more
Genesis Padilla
Genesis Padilla
04:22 12 Sep 19
Mr. Fernandez was absolutely amazing with our family’s case. Very genuine and intelligent. Austin was a pleasure to work with as well. We had a great experience overall, we were blown away by what he was able to accomplish so quickly.read more
Alex Gomez
Alex Gomez
15:13 14 Aug 19
I'm very satisfied with the services provided from Mr. Daniel J Fernandez. I was in a bad situation and contacted his firm. They were very professional and informative. They're very knowledgeable in the law and great at what they do. I would recommend them to everyone I know without hesitation. Mr. Fernandez and his firm are the real deal. Once again thank you.read more
D Serano
D Serano
01:21 18 Jul 19
Daniel Fernandez is an amazing lawyer! I have used a few times for a family member and I highly recommend! He knows his stuff, hes aggressive, a fighter, not afraid to try any case that comes his way!! He is honest and let’s you know what to expect from the moment you hire and until the case in closed!read more
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