If you are facing a federal criminal charge in Colorado, you need an attorney who understands the federal system.  The federal system is complex and demanding.  Talented prosecutors represent the government.  Don’t you want the same?

One of the first differences between the federal criminal system and the state criminal system is how the court determines bond.  Unlike the state system, it is very common for a federal criminal defendant to be detained (held in custody) until his or her case is finished.  The Detention Act of 1984 governs Bond, in the federal system.  This law often presumes that a person should be detained pending the outcome of their trial.  In order to overcome this presumption, a defendant needs a lawyer who is familiar with the federal criminal system and the Detention Act of 1984.

Another stark difference between federal and state cases is the size.  Often, federal cases involve over a year of investigation by multiple agencies.  The scope of the investigation often involves tapped phone calls, use of surveillance, closed circuit television, as well as confidential human sources.  Since these investigations span a number of months, the volume of reports and material necessary to review prior to trial is often enormous.  And, it is common for multiple people to be charged.  If you are charged in federal court, you will need an attorney who is used to managing a large case and all of the complexities associated with large, multi-defendant cases.

Unfortunately, many federal cases involve charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences.  A mandatory minimum sentence charge means that regardless of what the judge would want to sentence a defendant, the law requires them to sentence that person to a period of years in prison.  Common mandatory minimum sentences range from five to ten years, and some, like 924(c) charges, require that the mandatory sentence be imposed consecutive (on-top) of any other sentence.  Current Department of Justice policy requires federal prosecutors to consider the harshest penalties they can prove.

Aside from the mandatory minimum sentencing scheme often found in federal court, federal law has other ways in which a defendant’s sentence can be dramatically expanded.  The government can file 851 enhancers that can make a mandatory sentence up to twenty years or even life.  The government can argue that a defendant is either a career criminal or an armed career criminal, again, drastically enhancing a defendant’s potential prison sentence.

If you find yourself charged in federal court, you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.  Miller Leonard knows federal criminal law.  He is a former Special Assistant United States Attorney, a former State Prosecutor, and a former State Public Defender.  He is a member of the Criminal Justice Act for the Federal District of Colorado and he devotes a large percentage of his practice to federal criminal defense.  Call Miller Leonard at 720-613-8783.


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