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In the face of federal prosecution, feelings of uncertainty and fear are expected. While the journey ahead may seem daunting, with the right defender by your side, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected every step of the way.
Navigating the complexities of federal law demands a deep understanding of the system and an ability to foresee the strategies of the opposing side. At Bernal Law, our Federal criminal defense lawyers in San Diego possess an intimate familiarity with San Diego’s federal courtrooms that is unmatched. Federal criminal defense Attorney Pedro Bernal, Esq., served as a Deputy District Attorney in the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego, where he prosecuted federal crimes. Today, he brings the knowledge he acquired from their side to yours.
What Is a Federal Crime?
Understanding why certain crimes are prosecuted federally rather than at the state level can be nuanced. For instance, drug trafficking within California, like moving methamphetamine from San Diego to Orange County, is a state felony, as it involves movement within state-controlled areas. However, if these drugs cross state lines, say from California to Nevada, the crime escalates to a federal offense due to the interstate nature of the act.
In some instances, a single action can lead to both state and federal charges. For example, trafficking drugs across county lines might attract state felony charges, while moving them across state lines could add federal charges. These cases are handled separately, adding layers of complexity to the defense.
State laws, including those in California, are detailed in codes and statutes set by the state legislature, which outline state-level offenses and their penalties. Conversely, federal laws, compiled in the United States Code, govern offenses recognized at the national level. These laws are enacted after passing through both houses of Congress and receiving the President’s signature.
Types of Federal Crime Cases Our Firm Defends in San Diego, California
Bernal Law is equipped to tackle a diverse array of federal criminal cases. Our in-depth understanding of federal law, combined with years of courtroom experience, positions us as your steadfast advocates in the face of serious charges. Our San Diego federal criminal defense lawyers handle an extensive spectrum of federal crimes, including, but not limited to:
White-collar crimes encompass a wide range of non-violent offenses committed for financial gain. Our Federal criminal defense lawyers in San Diego cover cases involving:
- Insider trading
- Computer hacking
Our San Diego Federal criminal defense lawyers delve deep into the intricacies of financial transactions, corporate practices, and regulatory compliance to construct a defense that addresses the complex nature of these charges.
Federal drug charges can lead to severe penalties, necessitating a strategic defense. Whether you are facing charges related to drug trafficking, distribution, manufacturing, or conspiracy, our Federal criminal defense lawyers in San Diego employ a multi-faceted approach to challenge evidence, scrutinize law enforcement procedures, and safeguard your rights.
Fraud and Financial Crimes
Federal fraud charges encompass healthcare fraud, mail and wire fraud, securities fraud, and other fraud crimes. Our comprehensive knowledge of federal statutes and regulations governing these offenses allows us to dissect the prosecution’s case, analyze financial records, and challenge the evidence to undermine allegations of fraudulent activity.
Violent Crimes with Federal Jurisdiction
Certain violent crimes fall under federal jurisdiction, often involving matters such as organized crime, gang-related offenses, and acts committed on federal property. Our defense strategy for these cases draws upon a thorough examination of the evidence, witness testimonies, and applicable federal laws to secure the best possible outcome.
Federal Conspiracy Charges
Conspiracy charges can be complex, as they involve alleged agreements between two or more individuals to commit a federal crime. Our San Diego Federal criminal defense lawyers meticulously dissect these cases, scrutinizing the evidence for weaknesses and inconsistencies while demonstrating that a mere association does not necessarily constitute criminal conspiracy.
Possible Penalties for Federal Crimes in San Diego, California
Convictions for federal criminal cases often come with severe penalties that can follow you for the rest of your life. At Bernal Law, our Federal criminal defense attorneys in San Diego understand the gravity of these penalties, and our Federal criminal defense attorneys are resolute in our commitment to minimizing their impact on your future. Our battle-tested defense strategies are designed not just to secure your freedom, but to shield you from the harshest penalties the federal justice system can impose.
Federal law dictates an array of penalties that can be imposed upon conviction, each varying based on the nature and severity of the offense. These penalties may include:
- Incarceration: Federal convictions often lead to lengthy prison sentences. The duration of incarceration depends on the offense, ranging from months to years, or even life in prison in extreme cases.
- Fines: Federal fines can be substantial, leaving a considerable financial burden. The amount varies depending on the offense and its impact.
- Restitution: In cases involving victims, restitution may be ordered to compensate for financial losses or damages caused by the offense.
- Asset forfeiture: The government may seize assets believed to be connected to criminal activity, impacting your financial stability.
- Probation: Following incarceration, individuals might face supervised release or probation, during which strict conditions must be adhered to.
- Professional consequences: A federal conviction can lead to the loss of professional licenses, tarnishing your career prospects.
- Impact on immigration status: Non-U.S. citizens may face deportation, denial of re-entry, or other immigration-related consequences.
Federal crime convictions can also have far-reaching effects on personal relationships, housing, and social standing.
At Bernal Law, our Federal criminal defense lawyers in San Diego know how to build a strong defense, gather compelling evidence, and skillfully advocate on your behalf in the courtroom. Our experience in federal trials, negotiations, and appeals empowers us to confidently protect your rights and interests at every stage of the legal process.
7 Types of Defenses Against Federal Crimes
When facing federal criminal charges, several defense strategies can be effectively employed, including the following:
- Constitutional Rights Violations: This covers unlawful arrest, illegal search and seizure, and breaches of Miranda rights.
- False Accusations: Challenging the validity of accusations made against you.
- Compromised Evidence: Highlighting issues with how evidence was collected or handled.
- Mistaken Identity: Arguing that you were incorrectly identified as the perpetrator.
- Weak or Insufficient Evidence: Pointing out the lack of strong evidence supporting the charges.
- Affirmative Defenses: These are defenses where, even if the prosecution’s claims are true, there are reasons you should not be held responsible, such as self-defense, entrapment, or acting under duress.
- Alibi: Providing evidence that you were elsewhere when the alleged crime took place.
In federal cases, the prosecution must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is a very high standard of proof. At Bernal Law, our role is to construct a strong defense strategy and consistently challenge the government’s case at every stage.
Contact an Experienced Federal Criminal Defense Attorney in San Diego Today
Experience, dedication, and strategic prowess can mean the difference between a future reclaimed and one lost to the justice system. With an impressive track record spanning a spectrum of federal cases, we have earned our reputation as the go-to choice for those who refuse to compromise on their defense.
Are you or a loved one facing federal criminal charges in San Diego? Reach out to Bernal Law today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. Call (619) 736-9092 or fill out our contact form for more information. San Diego federal criminal defense Attorney Bernal is also fluent in both English and Spanish.