Federal Criminal Defense

Unlawful entry— Under federal law, it is a misdemeanor for an alien( non-citizen) to enter or attempt to enter the United States at any time or place other than designated by immigration officers, elude examination or inspection by immigration officers, or attempt to enter or obtain entry to the United States by willfully concealing, falsifying, or misrepresenting material facts. The punishment under this federal law is no more than six months of incarceration and up to 250 dollars in civil penalties for each illegal entry.

Child pornography – involves material, whether print, electronic media, video or audio, which depicts minors in various sexual positions or involved in sexual or erotic posses or acts. Child Pornography is a very serious federal offense. Crimes involving child pornography can include, possession, production, distribution, receiving, and purchasing child pornography. There are severe punishments for even the slightest violation. There are extreme fines and lengthy federal imprisonment as consequences for these cases. Thus, retaining an aggressive, experienced attorney like David A. Torres is the most important decision you can make.

Espionage— is defined by 18 USC Chapter 37. Statues provide for a wide variety of different espionage crimes and charges depending on the specific type of information that was disseminate or withheld and the security value of that information. Most charges include harboring or concealing any individual, whether domestic or foreign in origin, whom the concealing party has reason to believe has committed or is about to commit an offense under federal espionage laws; gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information of national security assets which may be injurious to the United States; Gathering and delivering such information as provided above to any foreign government or agent; and disclosing classified information, including classified information to which a person had rightful legal access to. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice members of armed forces may receive a death sentence and civilians who engage in espionage under federal law can receive some of the harshest punishments provided under any federal stature, which may include life in prison.

Gun charges—The United States Code 18 USC Section 922 provides for penalties for anyone who attempts to engage in the importation of firearms who is not a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer. Federal gun charges are usually related to illicit trafficking of guns across state lines. People who are not licensed importers, dealers, or manufacturers of firearms may not engage in the business of importing, manufacturing or dealing firearms; ship, transport, or receive any ammunition as part of any interstate commerce; cannot transport or receive firearms purchased or obtained outside the state unless under specific circumstances, among other restrictions. There are mandatory minimum sentences defined by the federal government for federal gun charges that can range from five to ten years of prison time.

Mortgage Fraud— Occurs when someone lies, confuses, or intentionally omits important information during mortgage application and approval process. Mortgage fraud is possible through a single act by either a lender or a borrower. Federal criminal laws often apply when the activity involved crosses state lines, involves federal agencies, or involves mortgage lenders and other federally regulated financial instructions. Mortgage fraud is punished by significant penalties; lengthy prison sentences, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, restitution, and probation terms.

Tax fraud—When one avoids paying taxes or limits paying taxes through illegal ways. It usually occurs when one files a false tax return, tax evasion, filing false documents, fails to collect employment or sales tax, fails to pay taxes or fails to file a tax return.

Tax evasion— is using illegal means to avoid paying taxes. Typically tax evasion schemes involve an individual or corporation misrepresenting their income to the Internal Revenue Service. Misrepresentation may take the form of underreporting income, inflating income, inflating deductions, or hiding money and its interest altogether in offshore accounts. Proof of the crime requires first proving the attendant circumstance that an unpaid tax liability exists.  Second, the prosecution must prove some affirmative act by the defendant to evade or attempt to evade a tax.  Third, prosecutors most show that the defendant possessed the specific intent to evade a known legal duty to pay.  To convict, the jury must find the defendant guilty of each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Tax evasion constitutes a crime that may give ride to substantial monetary penalties, imprisonment or both.

Money Laundering—18 U.S. § 1956 defines Money Laundering. It is the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses. In order to prove federal money laundering charges, prosecutors must show a person concealed money specifically to conceal the location, ownership, source, nature, or control of the money. Money laundering targets the specific act of concealing, or attempting to conceal, the ill-begotten proceeds of criminal activity. State and federal money laundering laws differ significantly. Federal money laundering crimes typically result in severe fines, prison sentences of 35 years or more, and probation.

Major Vendor Narcotics— Occurs when someone is in possession of multiple pounds or kilograms of illegal substances such as, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Terrorism—18 U.S. § 2331 defines “international terrorism” as activities that involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the Unites States or any State that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping. It must occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished. “Domestic terrorism” is defined the same as above except the acts must occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Violation of these federal crimes could lead to severe punishment including lengthy prison terms from ten years to life and significant fines.

Drug Crimes—Federal drug crimes can carry some of the toughest, most extreme sentences because they have mandatory minimum sentences. There are several categories of federal drug crime which can include; drug trafficking/conspiracy, importation of substantial amounts of controlled substances, manufacturing of a controlled substance, and possession or large amounts of controlled substances with the intent to distribute. Retaining an experienced attorney early can help your case tremendously. David A. Torres

Manufacturing – drug manufacturing is the production of illegal controlled substances [ methamphetamine , cocaine, LSD, and ecstasy or MDMA] that require certain chemicals and laboratory equipment. The Federal sentences that are delivered are directly linked to the certain type of drug or drugs involved as well as the quantity. If you are convicted of this crime you will face lengthy prison time and large fines, contact our office now to ensure you get the representation you need.

Conspiracy to distribute drugs— The most common way that Federal drug charges are brought is in a case of drug trafficking or distribution. Drug conspiracy is attempting to promote/facilitate the manufacture, distribution or importation of narcotics. The Government must prove that you are aware of the conspiracy. Drug distribution/manufacture occurring when one is running an operation for the purpose of distributing illegal drugs. The government must prove that there was an agreement to violate the drug law; that each conspirator knew about the agreement; and there must have been one act to further the conspiracy. If you are convicted of this crime you face serious prison time and hefty fines.

Drug possession or Drug Trafficking— Is the possession of controlled substances without a prescription.. This crime is often charges at the state level if there is no intent to distribute. Drug trafficking is the manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with the intent to distribute the illegal drugs. Federal drug laws that minimum and maximum sentences, which is based upon the amount and the type of drug. Federal sentencing guidelines also take into consideration whether the offens harmed another person, whether there was a weapon involved, and the criminal history of the accused. If convicted of this crime you can face lengthy prison sentences as well and expensive fines. Retaining an attorney well versed in Federal is important in these types of cases, so contact our team of reliable attorneys today!

Methamphetamine Labs— A meth lab is any dwelling, building, or structure used for the manufacture, or “cooking” of methamphetamine. In 1996, the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Act was passed which increased penalties for the possession of equipment used to make controlled substances and for trafficking certain precursor chemicals. Depending on the amount of meth involved, the violator faces prison time for anywhere from five years to life, as well as thousands of dollars in fines.

Border Searches—The customs of these circumstances require no warrant, no probable cause, not even the showing of some degree of suspicion. Border searches usually fall into two categories; 1). Routine—usually conducted at a border and consist of only a limited intrusion and 2). Non-routione—usually conducted on a reasonable suspicion and vary in techniques and intrusiveness. The power to search is derived under 8 USCS § 1357.

Marijuana Cultivation (large scale operation)– Marijuana is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The federal government treats marijuana cultivation similar to the manufacture of other schedule I drugs with respect to charges and sentencing. Cultivation of less than 50 marijuana plants can result in up to five years in prison, or up to a possible life sentence for 1,000 or more plants. Individuals in states that have allowed for the medical use of marijuana or have legalized it are not exempt from federal enforcement.

Identity theft– There are several laws used to prosecute Identity Theft cases. The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (18 U.S.C. Sec 1028) and Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act 18 U.S.C. Sec 1028A. According to 18 U.S. Code § 1028A, whoever, during and in relation to any felony violation enumerated in subsection (c), knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such felony, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2 years.

White collar crimes – Consists of a wide range of non violent criminal acts generally committed for monetary gain. Examples of white collar crimes are bribery, credit card fraud, internet fraud, forgery, embezzlement, mail fraud and many others. The penalties for white-collar offenses include fines, home detention, community confinement, paying the cost of prosecution, forfeitures, restitution, supervised release, and imprisonment.

Border crossing—more commonly known as improper entry, can include entering or attempting to enter the United States at any time or place other than one designated by U.S immigration officers, eluding immigration or imspection by U.S. immigration officers, or attempting to enter or obtain entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or willful concealment of a material fact. For a first improper entry offense, the person can be fined or imprisoned up to six months, or both. For a subsequent offense, the person can be fines or imprisoned up to two years, or both. There is also a separate section of the law that adds penalties for reentry in cases where the person has been convicted of certain types of crimes and thus deported from the United States.