Federal law is very different from State law. There are completely different sentencing guidelines, court rules, and case law governing federal crimes. There are not many criminal defense lawyers who actively practice in both State and Federal law. If you are charged with a federal crime, it is crucial to find a lawyer who practices in federal court regularly.
Federal crimes are often, but not always, investigated by federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the DEA. Unlike Washington State courts, they require indictment by a Grand Jury. Federal cases are charged in United States District Courts. In Washington, we have two district courts in the Western District of Washington, located in Tacoma and Seattle. There are also three district courts in the Eastern District of Washington, located in Spokane, Yakima, and Richland. Gause Law Offices has defended cases in all five district courts in Washington State.
One of the big differences between State and Federal law is that one’s exposure to a lengthy prison sentence is much greater in federal court. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are severe and often include five or ten year mandatory minimum sentences. However, an experienced federal defense attorney can reduce or eliminate these mandatory minimums in plea negotiations.
Another big difference is that, unlike State Sentencing Guideline ranges which must be adhered to unless a judge can find “substantial and compelling reasons” to depart from the range, the Federal Sentencing Guideline ranges are all advisory. This means that a judge can (and often does) depart from the guideline range and imposes a much lower sentence.
If you are indicted for a federal offense, you need to hire an experienced federal defense attorney who knows this system inside and out, and has battled against the United States Attorney’s Office to achieve remarkable victories for her clients.
To learn more about results achieved and case summaries in federal cases, click here.
If you are charged with a federal offense, call Gause Law Offices today at 206-660-8775 for a free consultation.
FEDERAL CASES include
- Complex Drug Conspiracies
- Firearms Charges / 18 U.S.C. 924(c)
- Child Pornography
- White Collar Crime
- Selling Counterfeit Goods