If you are charged with committing a federal crime in Nevada, then you allegedly violated a federal statute or law, and will be prosecuted in a federal district court in Las Vegas, Nevada or Reno, Nevada. Federal charges typically have more severe punishments than Nevada state law violations, and therefore, it is imperative that those accused of a federal crime hire an experienced lawyer in the Las Vegas are who knows about federal crimes and the penalties for these crimes.
A few common examples of federal charges or offenses are:
Las Vegas Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Many crimes can be prosecuted under either federal or state law. Federal charges tend to have harsher punishments. It is important to hire an experienced Nevada attorney who has knowledge of Nevada laws, and can attempt to have the charges brought under state law instead of federal law.
The Legal Process or Procedure of a Federal Charge in Nevada
There are many different steps to the legal process when you have been charged with violating a federal law. They can vary from step to step, and there is no substitute for the advice of an experienced lawyer.
The first step in the legal process is the complaint, followed by the arrest warrant and arrest. The prosecutor for the federal government will issue a complaint, which includes the reasons, or allegations, for the charge and probable cause for the government to arrest the alleged offender. The following arrest warrant will then include the information in the complaint and a signature from the judge, and will be used to arrest the alleged offender.
Following the arrest, the offender will then make an initial appearance. At this step, the offender will appear before a judge, who will determine if there is enough evidence to indict the offender, to inform the alleged offender of his basic rights, and to set bond. At this point, the person charged will also want to hire a lawyer, or have one appointed.
A detention hearing may then be held within three (3) days of the arrest. This hearing is used to determine if the alleged offender should be released on bond until trial or if he is a flight risk and will be harmful to the community if released on bond.
Within ten (10) days of the arrest, a preliminary hearing will occur for the prosecutor to put on evidence that there is probable cause the alleged offender committed the crime, and the alleged offender’s attorney can also put on evidence negating probable cause. If the judge determines probable cause does exist, then the case will move to the arraignment process.
The U.S. prosecutor can choose to file an indictment instead of a complaint. In this situation, the prosecutor initially presents the probable cause evidence to the grand jury.
The grand jury ultimately decides whether to prosecute a federal criminal case. The jury is made up of 23 randomly selected citizens from the community where the case will be prosecuted. If the grand jury determines there is enough evidence to prosecute the alleged offender, they will return a “True Bill.” If the grand jury decides there is not enough evidence, they will return a “No Bill,” in which case the federal charge is dropped.
Next, the arraignment will take place, where the alleged offender is read the charges against him, advised of his rights, will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, and a date for trial will be set.
The case will then move to trial unless a plea agreement is reached. The U.S. prosecutor has the highest burden of proof to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable a doubt. A jury will ultimately decide whether the alleged offender is guilty or not.
If found guilty, the alleged offender will be sentenced by a judge about eight (8) weeks after the initial conviction during the sentencing stage. Punishments can include jail time, probation, fines, or any combination.
The final stage of the federal process is the appeal. The defendant must file a Notice of Appeal within 10 days after sentencing. Be cautious when making plea deals – they may require the defendant to give up his right to appeal.
Who Investigates Federal Charges or Crimes?
Different U.S. government agencies will investigate various crimes. A few of the most common agencies are the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The FBI is a federal criminal investigation agency that has jurisdiction over a wide range of federal crimes. Some of the crimes the FBI investigates are:
- Cyber Crime;
- Mail Fraud; and
- Credit Card Fraud
- Bank Fraud.
The DEA primarily focuses on felony drug crimes, including drug smuggling across state borders or into the United States from other countries. Crimes the DEA investigates are:
- Drug Trafficking;
- Drug Manufacturing;
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
The ATF is a federal agency that investigates and prevents various crimes involving weapons, arson, bombings, and explosives. The ATF also regulates tobacco and alcohol sales and possession among the various states. A few crimes falling under the ATF’s jurisdiction are:
- Violent Crimes
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
- Unlawful Import or Export of Weapons
- Unlawful Firearms Trafficking
Drug Enforcement Agency – Official DEA website.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Official ATF website.
8965 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 200
Las Vegas, Nevada 89123 USA
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Official FBI website.
1787 West Lake Mead Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89106-2135
US District Court – Link to the courts for the United States District Courts for the District of Nevada.
United States District Court, District of Nevada
333 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Law Office of Joel M. Mann | Las Vegas Federal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with violating a federal statute or law, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann to discuss the particular facts of your case, and your options. There are many options to reduce or alleviate your charges, and finding an aggressive attorney is your best option to avoid harsh punishments.
Joel Mann is an experienced criminal defense attorney, and will aggressively pursue your case. Call (702) 474-6266 for a free consultation about your alleged federal charge.