How Federal Criminal Cases Work

If you or a loved one is facing federal charges, it’s important to contact a skilled federal defense attorney as soon as possible to fight back. Federal agents and U.S. prosecuting attorneys will be striving to prove your guilt and penalize you for your alleged actions. The punishments for a federal conviction are severe, and often include long prison sentences that may make it difficult to move on with your life afterwards. Working with a qualified law firm is the best way to avoid a conviction and possible jail time. When you get in touch with Grabel & Associates, a member of our talented team will provide you with a free initial case consultation and advise you of a wise course of action in your unique case, putting you on track to receive the best available outcome. Get in touch with our federal defense lawyers now.

Steps in a Federal Criminal Case in Michigan

While every case is unique, there are a few steps that are common in most federal criminal cases. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern the process, which can include the following stages:

  1. Investigation: Federal agencies, such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, USSS, or DHS, are often involved in gathering evidence in federal criminal cases. In this stage of your case, the prosecutor may work with one or several agencies to accumulate direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. You should hire an attorney right away to fight back against investigating agents.
  2. Charging: The prosecutor reviews the evidence gathered by federal agencies and decides whether to present your case to a grand jury.
  3. Initial Hearing/Arraignment: Soon after an arrest and charge, an initial hearing with a judge will occur. You will likely enter a plea at this stage.
  4. Discovery: The prosecutor and defense attorney review every detail of the case and exchange required records to prepare for trial.
  5. Plea Bargaining: If the government has a strong case, the defendant may be offered a plea deal to avoid trial. The accused must agree to plead guilty or no contest in an open court before the judge to receive a deal.
  6. Preliminary Hearing: If the defendant pleads not guilty, the prosecutor must demonstrate that there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. The defendant may choose to waive this step.
  7. Pre-Trial Motions: The prosecutor or the defense attorney may make pre-trial motions. Motions may include a motion to dismiss, motion to suppress, or motion for change of venue. Pre-trial motions often affect the trial, courtroom, defendants, evidence, or testimony.
  8. Trial: After preparing, the prosecutor presents evidence in an attempt to demonstrate the defendant’s guilt to the jury. Trials often include opening statements, presentment of cases, witness examination, objections, and closing arguments.
  9. Post-Trial Motions: If the defendant is convicted, he or she may want to file a post-trial motion for a new trial, a motion for judgment of acquittal, or a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence.
  10. Sentencing: Likely several months after trial, the defendant will be sentenced. Congress sets minimum and maximum punishments that guide the judge’s decision, along with case-specific information.
  11. Appeal: If the defendant believes he or she was wrongfully convicted, he or she may appeal the verdict.

If you’re facing federal criminal charges in Michigan, you may feel confused, overwhelmed, or even hopeless. Having a premier defense attorney on your side can help combat your anxiety and make it easier to face your case, because you know you are protected during every stage of your case. When you reach out to Grabel & Associates, you can rest assured knowing that you’re working with one of Michigan’s top defense firms. Our attorneys have over 15 years of experience defending Michigan’s wrongfully accused and are ready to put their knowledge to work in your case.

The licensed federal attorneys at Grabel & Associates are dedicated to defending your wellbeing and will do everything in their power to set you up for success in your case. We represent clients involved in all kinds of cases, including drug crime cases, sex crime cases, violent crime cases, and more. If you are facing federal charges or suspect you are under investigation, contact Grabel & Associates immediately to obtain the services of a skilled attorney who will start working to protect you.

Contact Grabel & Associates for 24/7 Federal Criminal Defense

A talented member of our team can be reached 24/7 via telephone or through our online contact form. Call 1-800-342-7896 to speak with a case analyst who will review the details of your situation and set you up for success in your federal criminal case. Don’t wait to start working with a lawyer—The sooner you obtain the services of the team at Grabel & Associates, the better your chances of achieving a beneficial result.