Being accused of any crime is a daunting experience and the ensuing criminal investigation can be extremely taxing for both you and your family. Every case is different, so there is no hard and fast rule for what to expect if you find yourself in this situation. The nature of the accusation, the number of charges and even any previous convictions can all affect the severity of your situation. Similarly, the matter of whether the case is to be prosecuted in a federal or state court is also important.
As we discussed in a previous article, federal drug charges frequently come with more severe penalties than those tried on the state level. However, this is not the case with every type of offense. For example, a white collar crime may actually carry a harsher sentence on the state level than in the federal system. Even so, this does not mean that the federal sentences are not severe in themselves.
If you are convicted of a federal crime, you could be fined or sentenced to time in prison. You may also find the conviction affects your personal and professional life. Those around you may be unsure how to react to your situation, or what to think about the charges against you.
Effective representation can be crucial when faced with such charges. An attorney can explain the charges you face and what to expect from your trial. By hearing your side of the story, he or she may also be able to figure out a way to contradict the prosecution's case or prevent them from finding you guilty.
It can be a lot to take in, but you do not need to face it alone. Our page on federal offenses has further information if you would like to know more about the options available when charged with a crime of this nature.