Champaign-Urbana Federal Offense Lawyers
Federal offenses are much more serious than state-level offenses and the penalties much greater. Coming under federal investigation or grand-jury indictment is a life-altering event for any person. If you have been charged with a federal offense, the single most important step you can take is retaining a highly qualified and experienced Champaign-Urbana federal criminal defense team as early in the process as possible. For nearly forty years, the attorneys of Bruno Law Offices have provided strategic, high-level defense to individuals charged with federal offenses.
Federal investigations are often conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), or the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Often times, these federal agencies work in concert with local law enforcement entities in joint-task-force operations. Task forces deploy vast financial and technological resources to conduct thorough, long-term criminal investigations, often involving dozens of individual suspects, secret informants, and advanced surveillance tools. Additionally, the United States Attorney’s Office (the federal prosecutor) is staffed with experienced and highly skilled career attorneys.
Given the nearly unlimited resources available to the federal government for investigating and prosecuting criminal cases, an effective federal defense requires more than simply a lawyer authorized to practice in federal court. Success in federal court requires a team of attorneys with the experience and know-how to get you the best possible outcome available.
The team at Bruno Law Offices is just that. Since 1980, we have fought and won cases on behalf of our clients in both state and federal courts, and have prevailed against the highest-level felonies, including death-penalty cases. We are uniquely qualified to handle your case, so make sure to contact us for help at (217) 328-6000 today.
Why Should You Choose Bruno Law Offices?
At Bruno Law Offices, we are more than just a law firm—we are a crisis-management team. We understand that a criminal case disrupts nearly all aspects of one’s life. Our mission is to minimize those disruptions by not only obtaining a good outcome in court, but also by providing effective counsel and assistance to help you weather the storm. As a family-owned law firm, we understand how important your family is to you. That’s why we work so hard to defend people and their loved ones who have been charged with a crime in Illinois, whether in state or federal court. We firmly believe that everyone must be treated as innocent until you are proven guilty, and you should be afforded the respect and competent legal assistance you deserve.
At Bruno Law Offices, our team of experienced trial attorneys has been defending people in Illinois against federal criminal charges for nearly four decades. We take the charges you face seriously, and we will defend you with all of our resources. Our reputation for excellence has been hard earned, our success at representing clients against charges a quantifiable fact. You’ll want us on your side if you are facing serious criminal allegations. Contact us at today (217) 328-6000.
Federal Cases We Handle
The experienced lawyers at Bruno Law Offices are standing by prepared to assist you with any of the following federal crimes:
- White Collar Crimes: “White collar” crimes may include tax fraud, accounting fraud, healthcare fraud, bank fraud, business fraud, wire fraud, investment fraud, securities fraud, identity theft, computer crimes, and insider trading. Though these crimes are not violent in nature, being accused of a federal white-collar crime still carries the real possibility of prison time and a stigma that can negatively affect your employment prospects and personal life.
- Drug Trafficking: The federal penalties for drug offenses are incredibly severe compared to similar offenses prosecuted at the state level. Federal drug laws cover nearly all the same controlled substances as Illinois state law, including marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), cocaine, morphine, LSD, methamphetamine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and heroin. A conviction in federal court for drug manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing (with intent to distribute) typically carries a mandatory minimum penalty, for example:
- Marijuana (100 kilograms or more) carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison.
- Cocaine (500 grams or more of powder cocaine) carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.
- Heroin (100 grams or more) carries a minimum of five years in prison.
- Methamphetamine (5 grams or more) carries a minimum of five years in prison.
- Sex and Child Pornography Crimes: The federal minimum prison sentence for producing child pornography, for a first-time offender, is 15 years. Receiving child pornography carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years. Even simple possession of child pornography carries a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison.
- Perjury and Obstruction of Justice: Perjury, defined as lying after taking an oath in an attempt to mislead during an official proceeding, convictions may result in up to a five-year sentence, fines, or probation. Obstructing justice on a federal level, which can take the form of tampering with evidence, influencing an officer or juror, destroying records, retaliating against an informant, or other forms of hindering an investigation, can result in six months in prison or 20 years, depending on what crimes were involved in the obstruction.
- Copyright Infringement: A federal copyright infringement conviction can lead to up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
- R.I.C.O. Conspiracies: Racketeer Influences and Corrupt Organization Act violations such as bank and mail fraud, drug trafficking, embezzlement, arson, bribery, and murder can lead to 20 years in prison and hefty fines.
- Illegal Firearm Possession: Federal law often provides that possession of a firearm in connection with another federal offense, such as a drug crime, requires a separate, mandatory minimum prison sentence to be served after the sentence for the underlying crime has been completed. Additionally, if the firearm was used or discharged during the commission of a crime, mandatory minimum sentence of 7 and 10 years, respectively, must be imposed.
- Armed Career Criminal: The federal Armed Career Criminal Act requires a minimum 15 years of imprisonment for any felon who illegally possesses a firearm and who has at least three prior convictions for a violent felony or a serious drug offense.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have been charged with a serious crime like one of the federal offenses listed above, you likely have questions and concerns about your freedom, your livelihood, and the charges you face. We are here to help answer any and all of the questions you may have, so contact us at (217) 328-6000 to discuss the specifics of your situation. In the meantime, we have provided the answers to a few frequently asked questions below:
What is the difference between federal offenses and state offenses?
The various state governments in each of the 50 states have created criminal laws unique to their state. Additionally, the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C. has created a set of criminal laws that apply to everyone in all 50 states. Federal offenses are the criminal laws created by the U.S. Congress. Federal criminal cases often involve matters affecting interstate commerce, such as drug trafficking, fraud, firearm possession, counterfeiting, immigration crimes, financial crimes, among other violations of the laws passed by Congress or that involve more than one state. Federal cases are tried in federal court.
What is the difference between federal courts and state courts?
The federal courts fall under the jurisdiction of the United States, as opposed to the individual states. Generally, federal courts handle fewer total cases than state courts in a given year, and federal prosecutors have more resources available than state prosecutors have, which will lead to a harder battle for a defendant facing federal charges than state chargers. However, with the right lawyers at your side, this hill is not impossible to climb. The lawyers at Bruno Law Offices can help.
If I am charged with a federal offense, do I need a federal defense lawyer?
If you are facing federal criminal charges, your lawyer must be authorized to practice law in the federal courts (most lawyers in Illinois are not authorized to practice in federal courts). It is also in your best interest to choose a lawyer who is knowledgeable of federal-level charges and who has successfully handled and won such cases in the past. Each lawyer at Bruno Law Offices is authorized to practice in federal court and highly experienced in obtaining successfully outcomes in difficult and serious federal criminal cases.
What determines if a case goes to the federal court?
Many criminal cases filed in federal court could also have been filed as state criminal cases in state court. Whether a criminal case “goes federal” often depends on the investigating agencies involved and the seriousness of the offense. For example, although transporting a controlled substance (such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin) into Illinois is a crime under both state and federal law, the case is more likely to become a federal charge if the quantity of controlled substance is very large. Or, as another example, if the FBI or DEA (both of which are agencies of the federal government) were the primary investigating agencies, the case is more likely to be filed in federal court.
Contact a Champaign Federal Crime Defense Lawyer
Our lawyers have a proven track record of successfully defending clients in federal court, which is vitally important for anyone facing the severe penalties inherent in any federal criminal charge. You need legal representation that can match the wide array of resources the federal government will dedicate to prosecuting your case. You need the lawyers of Bruno Law Offices because we will stand up for you. Call us today at (217) 328-6000 so that we can begin building the strongest case possible on your behalf.