Facing a federal allegation can be terrifying, but the sooner you begin taking steps to protect yourself, the better your chances at beating the charges.
If you have been arrested in Irvine, CA, or have received a target letter from federal authorities, you need to start preparing right away for the possibility of going to trial. You should immediately adopt the attitude that you are going to do whatever it takes to secure your future from the terrible consequences a federal conviction would bring.
With almost any federal criminal charge, the potential penalties are severe: many years or decades in prison, thousands or millions of dollars in fines, and so on. Some federal crimes even carry the potential for a life sentence (including certain drug trafficking, sex abuse, and fraud-related charges). And there is no such thing as parole in federal prison.
The federal defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C., are available to represent individuals and business entities in Irvine, CA, and we have a significant track record in federal criminal litigation.
We are available to represent clients in the:
- United States District Court for the Southern District of California
- United States District Court for the Central District of California
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Preparing for a criminal trial does not mean giving up on the possibility of getting the charges dropped, though. At Oberheiden, P.C., we never give up or give in. And for that reason, we have effectively negotiated dropped charges in many of our cases, even sometimes in the face of a formal grand jury indictment (meaning the government had already gotten a secret jury to agree it had sufficient evidence to file charges and we still managed to persuade prosecutors to drop the case – more on this process in the sections below).
In some cases, this may mean negotiating a plea agreement, though we prefer to seek a dismissal of charges whenever possible. While we can never guarantee a particular outcome in advance, all of our efforts are geared toward seeking the optimal outcome for our clients.
Aggressive and Strategic Defense Lawyers for Federal Criminal Trials in Irvine
Criminal trial litigation depends on strategies and facts. To make the most of both those things, it is essential that we forge a relationship of confidence, transparency, and trust with our clients. You can count on us to give you the honest and upfront guidance you need for your protection. You can also count on us to find the most promising path toward resolution for your case and to keep you fully informed at every step along the way.
The people and businesses of Irvine deserve criminal trial lawyers who have the experience it takes to fight for their futures. That’s what we’re here for.
6 Major Steps of Federal Criminal Litigation
An indictment is the government’s formal allegation of criminal wrongdoing. Indictments are typically obtained through a secretive process called a “grand jury.” This special type of jury convenes in private (perhaps without you even knowing it’s happening) and decides whether the feds have gathered enough evidence to justify publicly accusing you of a crime. Such evidence is typically gathered during an extensive law enforcement investigation, prior to the grand jury’s convening. An indictment is extremely serious because it means a jury has already agreed that there is significant evidence implicating you in a crime(s). However, the standard of proof is much lower in a grand jury proceeding than in a federal criminal trial. If you have been indicted in Irvine, 100% of your focus must be immediately allocated to saving yourself.
2. Defense Attorney Investigation
By the time you are indicted, the government has probably been investigating you for some time. They may have acquired extensive evidence, but you don’t necessarily know what they’ve found.
Now it is time for your federal criminal trial defense lawyers to conduct an investigation of their own. Your lawyers need to acquire some critical information. For example:
- Why did the government begin investigating you? How were you implicated?
- What was the government’s preliminary evidence?
- Have you made any statements to the government? If so, in what format? And did the government violate your rights in the process of obtaining those statements?
- Were appropriate procedures followed before, during, and after the issuance of any warrants or subpoenas?
- Is the government targeting anyone else in your case?
We move quickly once we’re on a case. Usually, we are able to get answers to these questions within a relatively short period of time. Each of these questions is extremely important, and depending on the answers, we begin to develop a pretrial strategy, right away.
3. Pretrial Strategy
Based on what you’ve seen in movies, you might think that a federal arrest or indictment means that a full-blown criminal trial is the next step. On the contrary, there is a lengthy pretrial process that comes first. Many criminal matters get resolved during this process, meaning they never go to trial. Accordingly, our pretrial strategy is getting you the optimal outcome before your case goes to court. In most cases (though not all), resolving the matter before trial is in your best interest.
4. Negotiations with the U.S. Attorney’s Office
Some people are surprised by the term “criminal litigation.” But criminal matters are truly litigated in the sense that your defense attorneys will engage in negotiations on your behalf, long before defending your case at trial. Negotiation is a key part of the pretrial process. In fact, federal criminal matters are frequently resolved prior to trial by negotiating with the Assistant U.S. Attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your case, points of negotiation might include pretrial release, a reduction in charges, reduced sentencing, or having your charges dropped entirely. The federal criminal trial lawyers at Oberheiden, P.C., have extensive experience in effectively negotiating resolutions with the U.S. Attorneys.
5. Pretrial Litigation Practice
Even while they are negotiating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, your defense lawyers will also need to comply with the court’s pretrial schedule. This might include attending pretrial hearings, filing defense motions, responding to motions made by the prosecution, and so on. It is possible at this stage for your case to resolve in one of several ways. We might negotiate a resolution with prosecutors outside of court, for example, or we might score key victories during formal pretrial procedures (such as successfully blocking the prosecution’s key evidence from trial, effectively forcing them to reduce or dismiss the charges).
If your case has not resolved and your court date is approaching, your defense attorneys will begin making more specific plans to represent you aggressively at trial.
Being ready for criminal trial requires extensive preparation. It also entails cross-examining witnesses, calling the government’s evidence into question, presenting various arguments to the judge or jury, and vigorously challenging the government at every turn.
You should know, however, that it is possible to reach a plea deal or dismissal at any time, even at the late stages of a trial. New evidence, arguments, or precedent could come to light during the trial, for example. Our advocacy continues inside and outside the courtroom up until the time of a verdict. Even if you are found guilty, we will still have the opportunity to protect your interests at sentencing, and you will have the opportunity to challenge the outcome of your trial on appeal.
Federal Criminal Cases We Handle
If you are facing any of the following federal allegations, please contact us immediately for a free and confidential criminal defense assessment in Irvine, CA.
- Health care fraud
- Federal drug crimes
- Tax crimes
- Bank fraud
- Securities fraud
- Public corruption and bribery
- Any other white-collar federal offense
Unlike some law firms in the Irvine area, when it comes to federal criminal litigation, we do not use paralegals or junior attorneys. These cases are simply too important.
Your freedom is on the line. Don’t settle for anything less than the veteran experience and deep competence you deserve.
With Oberheiden, P.C., every attorney working on your case will have substantial federal criminal court experience. Our senior attorneys are available meet with you in Irvine, as needed.
Potential Defenses to Federal Criminal Charges
Though we use our same proven defense methodologies in every case, those methods must always be tailored to the facts and the charges at hand. No two cases are quite alike.
Deciding on the best defense strategy in any particular case requires a detailed understanding of the particular facts and circumstances involved. As a general matter, however, some of our most effective federal criminal litigation defense strategies will apply in most cases. These include:
- Disputing the Government’s Evidence – Is the government’s evidence admissible in court? Might it be inadmissible as hearsay, or can we throw it out per the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine? Does it really show what prosecutors say it shows? At Oberheiden, P.C., we have been able to win cases in the past by convincing the jury that the government’s evidence did not mean a crime was committed or that the link to our client was simply too tenuous.
- Asserting Constitutional Violations – The U.S. criminal justice system affords many impenetrable rights to the criminally accused. If law enforcement or prosecutors violate certain rights, it might require the dismissal of key evidence or even of the whole case. For example, we might be able to argue that you were searched unreasonably, stopped without reasonable suspicion, arrested without probable cause, or refused your Miranda These and other Constitutional violations happen more often than you might believe. In fact, they could have happened in your case without your awareness.
- Asserting Affirmative Defenses – In addition to challenging the government’s evidence, in many cases, we may be able to assert certain “affirmative defenses.” With an affirmative defense, we argue that, even if the prosecutor’s version of the facts and evidence were true, they simply do not support the specific elements required under the relevant criminal statute(s). Alternatively, an affirmative defense may allow us to present additional facts that mitigate your legal guilt.
- Challenging the Sufficiency of the Government’s Case – The United States Constitution requires that the government prove its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If your case reaches a jury, it becomes our job to create reasonable doubt.
About Oberheiden, P.C.: Federal Criminal Trial Attorneys for Irvine
Oberheiden, P.C., is a federal defense law firm with a national presence, comprised entirely of senior attorneys. Many of our team members had years-long experience in the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) or other U.S. offices prior to entering private practice.
We provide skilled, aggressive, and effective representation for people or businesses in Irvine. No matter how complex the case, no matter how sensitive or disturbing the allegations might seem, and no matter how high the stakes are, we are here to help.
Learn more about Oberheiden, P.C.:
Schedule Your Free and Confidential Case Assessment at Oberheiden, P.C.
If you are facing federal charges in Irvine, we urge you to contact us and talk to our defense team, right away. Someone from our office is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you wish to speak directly with one of our senior attorneys and one is not available immediately, we will schedule an appointment for you as soon as possible. We do have emergency response plans available for urgent legal situations. Please call (888) 519-4897, or tell us how to reach you online.
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