Tampa Criminal Defense Law Firm, Law Offices of Ben Stechschulte, Blog

Federal Criminal Defense

Feds Reverse Decision on Minimum Mandatory Sentencing Due to Opioid Epidemic

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reinstated the push for federal prosecutors to charge even the lowest level drug users and sellers with the most severe charges possible. Under the federal minimum mandatory sentencing requirements, individuals now face 20 or more years in prison. For this reason, you need an expert criminal defense attorney by your side. Learn more in our recent blog.

Acceptance of Responsibility and Federal Court Sentence Reduction

An Acceptance of Responsibility plea is unique to the federal court system, and to receive the most benefit from this option it is important to hire an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. Only this level of representation will assure that an effective defense strategy is developed that takes into account all of the challenges and resources of the federal legal system.

When A Federal Agent Calls for an "Interview", Consult A Criminal Attorney Immediately

If a Federal Agent contacts you to “just talk” or “hear your side of the situation” contact an experienced federal attorney immediately. Whether you are a potential federal witness or the subject of an investigation, you need an expert lawyer who can protect your rights throughout this process.

Experienced Criminal Attorneys Effectively Use Substantial Assistance to Reduce Sentences

A defendant or convicted criminal in state or federal court can help themselves tremendously by providing "substantial assistance" to help law enforcement investigating another crime.  The designation is determined solely by the prosecutor.  The determination of substancial assistance and its impact on a sentence can be tremendously impacted by the strategy a defense attorney uses to present the situation.  

Only Experienced Federal Criminal Attorneys Can Manage the Role of the Federal Probation Officer

The federal U.S. probation officer preforms a unique role in federal criminal cases compared to his counterpart in state court.  The federal probation officer has the additional duty of creating the pre-sentence investigation report which heavily influences the judges final sentence.  Any attorney hired for a federal crimainla case should be seasoned in helping probation officers create this report in the defendant's best interests.  The proper application of the Safety Valve Law, one that could reduce sentences by up to 24 months for someone with no priors, is an example of an issue that needs to be positioned correctly.

A Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Needed After Selling Counterfeit Goods

Selling counterfeit goods is considered a federal offense because they have most likely traveled across states and international borders.  If you sense that federal agents are "dining out", or shopping and gathering evidence against you, immediately cease selling the items and call a criminal defense attorney with federal experience.  

Relevant Conduct Affects Sentencing in Federal Criminal Cases

The Dennis Hastert case is a good example of how "relevant conduct" can affect the sentencing of a federal criminal case.  Judges can take into account actions surrounding a crime, not just the crime itself, in determining the length of sentence.  It is extremely important to find an attorney with extensive experience in federal crime cases who will present relevant conduct during the federal probation interview and presentence  investigation report. 

Out of State Residents and Florida Warrants

Former Florida residents can be surprised to learn that a Florida arrest warrant has been issued against them. For minor charges, these warrants can dismissed with little effort and often no travel, if the defendant hires experienced Florida representation. When the warrant was issued for serious crimes, immediately hiring a skilled Florida attorney can be critical in the overall defense as this lawyer can begin negotiations and discussions early in the process.

Defending Private Firearm Sellers

It is legal for a gun owner or collector to buy and sell firearm in their own state.  However, it is illegal when they sell in excessive amounts or sell to someone prohibited under federal law from purchasing a gun.  If you are a gun owner who has been charged or is under investigation, contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who understands federal gun-related charges to represent you.

Should You File A Motion to Suppress Evidence?

A Motion to Suppress Evidence is a written request that the defense submits asking the judge to rule that the evidence against the client is dismissed. Understanding the ramification of submitting a motion to suppress evidence is important for both, state and federal court. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney like Ben Stechschulte will determine when it is appropriate to file such a motion and when it is in your best interest not to.

Nationwide Criminal Defense Practice

Hire a local federal defense attorney if you are under federal investigation or facing criminal charges in another state.  This will allow you to meet face to face, work closely with your attorney and build the trust you need when working to establish your defense.   

Impact of Mental Health Evaluations on Federal Sentencing

An experienced federal criminal defense attorney will request a mental health evaluation to determine if the crime the client committed was an act from a stressful life event. If it is determined the crime was committed due to this, the attorney will present evidence at the sentencing trial to the judge. In most cases, the sentence will be reduced and the client will receive counseling or a treatment plan to address these issues.

Proactive Responses in Federal Pre-Indictment Situations

If you learn you are a focus of a federal investigation that may include over billing of the government, tax fraud, welfare fraud or drug crimes, contact a federal criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience working with the US Attorney’s Office. An experienced attorney like Ben Stechschulte will help try to prevent you from being indicted or reduce the charges by gather evidence to present to the US Attorney’s office or other federal law enforcement agency.

Entering an Addiction Program Can Reduce Federal Criminal Sentences

A person who has been charged with a Federal crime and has an addiction problem may qualify for Residential Drug Addiction Treatment Program (RDAP). If this program is completed successfully, it may reduce the sentence up to 12 months. An experienced Federal Criminal Defense attorney will help his client accept his addiction, if in denial; work on preparing his client for the pre-sentencing report interview; and prepare and submit a memorandum of law to the judge. The pre-sentencing report and the memorandum of law will help determine if the client meets the needs to participate in RDAP.

Federal Supervised Release Violations

An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can help you avoid a possible new prison term if you violate a supervised release or probation.  Depending on the type of violation, a successful attorney may be able to have the new charges reduced to a misdemeanor.

Substantial Assistance for Reduction of Federal Crimes

Certain crimes carry minimum mandatory sentencing which has been set by Congress.  The judge can decrease your sentencing if you offer assistance in an ongoing case.  Many defendants do not realize the ramifications associated with Substantial Assistance and should consult an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.

Ways to Avoid Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Certain federal crimes including sexual assault, firearm crimes, child pornography, and cocaine or methamphetamine crimes mandate minimum mandatory sentence requirements.  There are two exceptions to the sentencing requirements which include the defendant having substantial assistance in a criminal case determined by the courts and the second is the safety value of the defendant and their family which Council needs to request.  An experienced federal lawyer can help determine if the Safety Value exception applies in a case and then argues for the exception.

Acceptance of Responsibility

When accepting responsibility early in the litigation process for a felony or Class A misdemeanor, it may result in a sentence reduction.  By hiring an experienced Board Certified Federal Criminal Defense Attorney, they can review the circumstances of alleged crime and help determine if Acceptance of Responsibility Plea Agreement or Litigation will produce the best result for their client.

Importance of Hiring Experienced Federal Plea Negotiator

The US Federal Courthouse in Tampa, a place you would rather not be on trial. it is important to find a defense attorney adept at plea bargaining

Importance of a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Federal criminal court has many differences compared to the local or Florida state system.  Plea recommendations and pre-trial strategy could differ given the evidence that conviction rates are higher.  Hiring an experienced, board certified federal defense attorney as soon as possible could greatly increase your chances for a more favorable outcome.

The Honorable U.S Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli appointed Tampa Criminal Attorney Ben Stechschulte to the prestigious Federal Criminal Justice Act Federal Court conflict list.

Tampa criminal lawyer Ben Stechschulte was recently appointed to the prestigious Criminal Justice Act Panel to represent individuals charged with Tampa federal crimes.