Our Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help
An arrest puts your rights, your freedom, your family, and your livelihood at stake. If you are facing charges for federal crimes, the federal criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC will fight to protect your rights and your personal and professional future. Our firm, centrally located in Columbia, South Carolina, has been serving clients for over 24 years and our extensive experience and familiarity with federal law and prosecutorial techniques means you’ll get effective and vigorous legal representation.
Founded by former U.S. Attorney and assistant solicitor, Pete Strom, the Strom Law Firm, LLC includes a former public defender and a tax lawyer familiar with IRS investigations. Our team of lawyers, paralegals, investigators, and clerks has been carefully assembled to create the best possible mix of experience, passion, and knowledge. And we work with top investigators, forensic experts, consultants, and professional researchers to assemble a robust and thorough defense on your behalf.
Getting Arrested Does Not Mean You Are Guilty
Being arrested or investigated for a federal crime does not mean that you are guilty or that you have no rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney will fight for your rights and work to have your charges reduced, or even dismissed. Contact the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC for a no-cost consultation to discuss your case and see how our experience and knowledge of the system can help you.
The Federal Crimes We Handle
Our lawyers are here to help. We handle the following federal crimes and offenses:
- Computer crimes
- Mail fraud, wire fraud, or bank fraud,
- RICO violations
- Drug Crimes
- Tax fraud
- False Statements
- Health or Insurance Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Consumer Fraud
- Internet Crimes
- Guns and Weapons Charges
- Federal Appeals
What To Expect When Facing Federal Offenses
Regardless of the federal crimes you’ve been charged with, this is no doubt a difficult and possibly overwhelming time in your life. The first and most important step is to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Find a lawyer you trust who is well-versed in federal law so they can explain your situation. This is a brief overview of what you can expect in a federal case:
Before Charges Are Filed
If you are the subject of an investigation, or have been summoned before a grand jury, your lawyer will investigate the potential charges against you and advise you on the best course of action to take during the investigation.
If You Are Arrested for a Federal Crime
If a U.S. magistrate has issued an arrest warrant or if a grand jury has returned with an indictment, you may be placed under arrest and given a date for initial appearance before a judge, which must occur within 72 hours of arrest. At this appearance, you, the Defendant, will be given notice of the charges, notified of your rights, and the bond will be set. In some cases, you may be released at this point. In other cases, the judge may assess a danger to the community or a flight risk and hold you in custody until trial. The next phase is an arraignment where a plea will be entered before the judge.
Plea Bargains in a Federal Case
After a thorough review of your case and federal charges, a plea agreement may be reached between the government and the Defendant where a Defendant agrees to forego a trial by entering a guilty plea pursuant to a written plea agreement.
Some common plea bargains in federal cases are:
- agree to dismiss some charges in return for a guilty plea for others
- agree to stipulations regarding sentencing factors
- agree and disregard whether certain enhancements apply
- agree to recommend certain sentences
- agree to forfeiture of assets
- may agree to recommend a different sentence from what is calculated
Pre-trial proceedings in federal court are very often complex. Discovery is the process by which the Defendant and the government demand information and material from the other party, which can include investigative reports, statements by witnesses, financial records and lab reports. This is a cumbersome process that can involve thousands of pages of documents. When you hire the Strom Law Firm, LLC, we will review each document with you and work with you to determine the best strategy for your case. Proper representation during this stage of the case is of critical importance.
In order to find you guilty at trial, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the criminal charge or charges against you. Your lawyer will work tirelessly and make sure you have the most effective defense possible by using all available resources. Our firm has the experience of working with the top investigators, forensic experts, consultants, and professional researchers to help clients prepare and present their defense.
What Determines a Sentence If Convicted
If you plead guilty or are found guilty, the court will schedule a sentencing hearing. Prior to your sentencing hearing, the court will order that a Presentence Investigation take place. The Office of US Probation will then prepare a report, a Presentence Investigation Report (PSR), where a probation officer will detail any aggravating and mitigating factors present in the case. Most reports contain the offender’s prior criminal record, personal characteristics, financial background and social history, as well as information regarding the effect of the crime on the victim.
During the sentencing process, the judge will take into consideration the PSR. A federal judge or magistrate will also consider the sentencing guidelines established by the United States Sentencing Commission which dictate a uniform sentencing policy for individuals and organizations convicted of federal crimes. These sentencing guidelines will be used to determine your sentence. Additionally, during this process, character witnesses acting on the Defendant’s behalf, as well as victim statements, will be presented to the judge for review.
Penalties for Federal Crime
If convicted, penalties for federal offenses can include:
- Prison time in a federal prison, controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (B.O.P.)
- House Arrest
- Split Sentence (combination of prison, house arrest, and/or probation)
If you are sentenced to prison time, you will be ordered to serve your time in any federal penitentiary in the United States. The Bureau of Prisons and the court can not guarantee that placement of the Defendant will be close to their home state and many factors play into placement of Defendants.
Such factors include:
- the offense of conviction
- your prior record
- length of sentence
- available bed space
- the need for drug treatment or educational services
- the need for protection
It’s important to note that parole has been abolished in the federal system. If sentenced to prison, you can expect to serve at least 85% of your sentence. Sentences of imprisonment usually begin immediately, although in some circumstances the convicted will begin their sentence at a later date.
An Arrest Puts Your Rights, Your Freedom, Your Family, and Your Livelihood at Stake
Call today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case with our federal criminal defense lawyers. We have the experience and background necessary to provide aggressive legal representation that can help you avoid jail time and other criminal penalties. The federal criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC will fight to protect your rights and your personal and professional future.