A plea bargain is an arrangement between a prosecutor and a criminal defendant where the defendant enters a lesser plea in exchange for more lenient sentencing. Since federal law involves different rules and procedures, the plea-bargaining process is a little different than what occurs on the state level.
One of the reasons it is imperative to hire a federal criminal defense lawyer if you face federal charges is because the sentencing process differs from that of the state criminal justice system. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, judges are advised to dole out certain punishments. This means that if you are charged with a federal crime, you will face certain penalties based on the crime (quantity and type of drug if a drug crime) and your criminal history.
When it comes to drug crimes, trafficking is one of the worst offenses you can be charged with. A federal offense, drug trafficking is punishable by lengthy incarceration in a federal prison as well as costly fines. Whether you are accused of trafficking marijuana, fentanyl or methamphetamine, you are in serious trouble. However, with the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Florida, you may be able to have the charges dismissed, or have the sentence against you reduced.
In addition to carrying a stigma, drug crimes are often punishable by heavy fines and long prison terms. Many drug crimes, such as possession and intent to distribute, are prosecuted on the state level. However, depending on the quantity, type, location, and whether you cross state lines, you could face federal charges. Regardless of whether you are arrested for a federal or state crime, if you are charged with intent to distribute, or any other drug offense in Florida, you need experienced legal help.
One of the tools the government uses to discourage criminal activity is asset forfeiture. This means, if you arrested, the federal government may seize assets or proceeds used to facilitate the commission of a crime. Basically, law enforcement can take your money, cars, and other property if it can show that you acquired them illegally, or used them in the furtherance of criminal activity.
Choosing the right federal criminal defense lawyer in Florida can mean the difference between your freedom and a lengthy prison sentence. You need an attorney who focuses on handling criminal cases, specifically federal criminal cases. While state level crimes are also serious, the penalties associated with federal offenses are much more severe. If you fail to retain the services of a lawyer experienced in federal crime cases, you risk losing everything — your reputation and even your freedom.