Understanding Federal Criminal Court

So here you are, a federal defendant in federal criminal court. Unless this is your second time in the federal system (and that is rare), you probably have no idea what to expect and are overwhelmed at the thought of where to begin. As you most likely now already realize, federal criminal court is very different from state criminal court. For starters, while lengthy and harsh sentences are possible in state criminal court, there are typically more nonincarceration sentences given by state court circuit judges than there are by federal court district judges. Upon being convicted of a crime in federal criminal court, a federal defendant should typically expect a sentence that includes a term of incarceration followed by supervised release (a form of probation after a person serves a prison sentence). Sentences of probation or house arrest are very rare and should not be expected by a federal defendant.

We aim to educate our clients (and their families and friends) as to what they should expect to experience while proceeding through the federal criminal justice system. No two past cases were identical and no two future cases will be identical, so our clients must look to the specific facts and circumstances of his or her particular case instead of listening to the exaggerated stories, tall tales and urban legends. To reiterate, each federal criminal case is different. Each federal defendant has a unique background and each federal case has its own facts. Once a federal defendant accepts this to be true he will be able to move forward in his case with a proper understanding and proper expectation of what lies ahead.

I created and wrote this federal guide. You may see former employees or former members of my law firm with a variation of it or a similar version of it. This is fine. I cannot stop them from using material that I created. Take care to note that this guide has evolved over time and new information is constantly being added. So while something may look like this guide it may be an outdated version that I wrote years ago. If you wish to discuss the realities of federal criminal court with the person who actually wrote this federal guide, it is wise to call our firm. This guide is not meant to be a complete, authoritative treatise on federal criminal court. It is a source of information that hopefully will help our clients better understand their cases and, in turn, better assist our law firm in defending their cases. Please contact our law firm at (813) 228-6989 should you or a loved one require further information.