What Should You Do If You’ve Been Convicted Of A Federal Crime
If you or your loved one gets convicted in a federal court, you may be at cross-end on your next step. The passing of a guilty verdict can be shocking and crushing. After spending so much time preparing and presenting your case, getting a guilty verdict can be profoundly disorienting. Most people in such a situation do not know whether they have viable options or continue fighting the sentencing. However, it would help if you now started preparing for the next options available. Below we explain the options available after receiving a conviction for a federal crime.
What is a federal crime?
Laws are governing both the federal and state level. The California Assembly sets the penalties for State laws for crimes like robbery, drug violation, and assault. And the state court handles the prosecution. There are other cases where the federal government is the victim, and such cases are federal crimes. These crimes include counterfeiting, tax evasion, and mail tampering. For such crimes, the federal government handles the investigation and prosecution of such cases. Other crimes crossing the state lines include interstate, identity theft, internet crimes, and child pornography.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Convicted of a Federal Crime?
The vital thing to note is that getting a guilty verdict for a federal crime does not mean the end of the road of your legal battle. It’s just the start of your fight, which means that you need to make life-altering decisions, including whether you wish to continue with the legal battles at sentencing or if you wish to appeal the verdict given for your case. Your choices will affect your life, so you may want the most experienced legal representation to provide you with the best legal counsel.
Prepare for sentencing
After getting convicted on a federal case, the next step is to prepare for sentencing. The sentencing is done a few months after conviction. The trick here is that you will need to convince the same judge in charge of your trial to give you favorable sentencing. The judge utilizes several resources for guidance and assistance in sentencing a defendant. There are several set minimum and maximum sentences that the judges use to craft a criminal sentence. At this juncture, you will need superb legal representation. It’s also the perfect time to change lawyers if your lawyers’ ability did not match your expectations. A new lawyer may provide the fresh blood necessary for new legal perspectives and options. A conviction does not mean the end of the case because you need representation at the sentencing as the judge will also consider the statement when setting up your sentence.
Prepare your Arguments
You will need to make sound arguments about how long your sentence should be. However, it would be best not to ask the judge for sentences that fall below the sentencing guideline for your accused offense. You will need to portray your commitment to being a good citizen. A judge will consider if you have expressed regret for the committed crime when crafting a sentence.
Federal criminal appeals
Appeals do not refer to a new trial or rehearing of evidence, but rather it’s reviewing the court proceedings to ensure the law’s application was correct. If convinced that your federal case’s outcome was unfair due to legal errors, you should consider an appeal because it can be the saving grace you need. You can start working on acquiring the trial logs, starting from the presented opening statements to the time of the verdict’s reading. Your lawyer will help you submit a notice of appeal or briefings, or you may choose to work with new legal representation.
When adequately prepared, the appeal process can be relatively swift. You can have the process run smoothly for the best chance of getting your sentence overturned. A sentence may be reversed, altered, or the court of appeal may call for a new trial if it deems it necessary with a successful appeal.
Start putting your affairs in order
Upon conviction, you will need to prepare yourself because you may be transferred to a prison or holding facility immediately after sentencing. At the same time, some cases may give you time to set your affairs in order. If you have debts, you will need to arrange with the creditors on how to handle them. You may also need to end your lease to avoid having an eviction on your record. You can also consider sending some money to your prison account for use while incarcerated.
Getting convicted for a federal crime is an unpleasant thought. However, careful preparation for the scenario can help reduce the aftermath. If you get your affairs settled as you work on, the appeal process can help you through this trying time.