Federal prosecutors prosecute far fewer cases than district attorneys, which only prosecute cases in state court. This gives federal prosecutors more time to investigate each case, which means they are always well-prepared. If you face charges in the District Court for the Central District of California, you need an attorney with that same level of sophistication, skill and experience. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, we have more than 20 years of experience defending clients in state and federal court. Regardless of the nature of the crimes you’ve been charged with, Attorney Melanie Killedjian will provide you with the aggressive representation needed to secure the best result possible.The Difference Between State and Federal Crimes
The criminal justice system is made up of state and federal courts. Most crimes are prosecuted at the state level by district attorneys. However, federal prosecutors also have the ability to bring an indictment. Typically, federal prosecutors are more selective in the cases they handle, preferring to prosecute more serious crimes, as well as those that are complex or involve conduct that occurred in multiple states.
One of the primary differences between the state and federal criminal justice systems is how prosecutors file charges against a person. In the state court system, prosecutors can use their discretion in filing a complaint. However, in the federal system, most cases must first be presented to a grand jury.
A grand jury is a group of citizens that hears the prosecutor’s case. Neither the defendant nor their attorney is present, and, in most cases, targets of a grand jury indictment are unaware that they are under investigation. Thus, by the time you find out that you are facing federal charges, prosecutors have already built a case against you and presented evidence to a grand jury, which found that there was probable cause to believe you committed the charged offenses. This can make defending against federal crimes difficult because the prosecutors have a significant head start.
In some cases, however, subjects of a federal investigation are made aware they are under investigation. In these situations, it is imperative to reach out to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, as an attorney may be able to intervene in the investigatory process to prevent prosecutors from seeking an indictment.Types of Federal Crimes
Federal prosecutors have the authority to charge most types of crimes. However, in reality, they typically only prosecute the most complex and serious cases. Some of the most common charges filed in Los Angeles federal court include:
- Drug crimes,
- Possession, distribution, or manufacture of child pornography,
- White collar crimes,
- Identity theft,
- Bank robbery,
- Homicide, and
- Gun crimes.
Yes, generally, federal crimes are more serious than crimes prosecuted in state court. There are a few reasons for this. First, federal prosecutors typically allow state prosecutors to handle less serious crimes. For example, the federal government is unlikely to get involved in a small-scale drug dealing operation but may pick up a case involving allegations of drug trafficking. Second, federal judges have less discretion when it comes to sentencing because they must consult the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Third, due to the nature of the investigatory process, prosecutors bringing federal crimes are typically much better prepared, meaning there may be less room for a plea bargain.Are You Facing Federal Criminal Charges in the Central District of California?
If you are under investigation or were recently indicted for a federal crime, the Killedjian Law Corporation is here to help. Attorney Melanie Killedjian has more than two decades of experience handling all types of federal criminal cases. She is an effective negotiator who is often able to prevent her clients from being indicted. However, as an experienced litigator in state and federal court, she is capable of defending even the most complex cases at trial. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Melanie Killedjian at the Killedjian Law Corporation, call (818) 986-0888 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.