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Harrison & Hart takes the tough cases.

No matter the case, we’re dedicated to finding the best possible outcome. While we can’t guarantee a particular result, we’ll fight for you at every turn and with our experience, we’ve likely handled a case like yours.

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How to Hire a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been federally indicted (charged with a federal crime), you need to quickly hire an attorney you can trust. Whatever you do, don’t talk to the feds without your federal criminal defense lawyer present. You can make some considerations to ensure you get the right person on your side.

Tips for Hiring the Right Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

No one wants to hire an attorney. However, working with the right federal criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid the worst parts of the entire situation.

Ask About Their Experience

You should ask all potential lawyers about their experience with cases like yours. If you face federal embezzlement charges, you will want a federal lawyer familiar with white-collar crimes.

Some attorneys focus on murders or sex crimes. You need someone who has specifically worked with the laws that will be used to target you.

You also need someone who knows federal law inside and out. Some attorneys primarily practice in state courts and aren’t as knowledgeable about federal laws, court processes, and penalties.

Discuss Fees

All attorneys charge fees, but some take money in different methods or for various types of services. You need to clearly understand the costs of your legal services and how you will be charged.

Most federal criminal defense attorneys request an up-front deposit called a retainer. They will generally charge an hourly rate and pull from the retainer until it is exhausted or to a certain level. Then, you will be expected to replenish that retainer.
You should also clearly understand what you will be charged for. For example, you may have to pay for court costs, but you may also have to pay for copying and postal expenses. Your attorney’s office should give you a list of standard costs they apply to your account in addition to legal fees for the attorney’s time.

Above all, the most important thing for you to know is your attorney’s hourly rate or flat fee. If your attorney charges you by the hour, keep in mind that means money for every email and text message. A flat fee is less common for criminal defense attorneys, and you may not get as many services with a flat fee.

Gauge Their Communication Skills

You should ask your attorney how they communicate with clients, including how often and who will return calls. Some lawyers use a lot of “legalese,” or confusing legal language, that takes time to understand. You want to work with someone who uses plain language and calls you back quickly.

When you discuss your case with your attorney, you should get an idea of their ability to speak and write persuasively. They must use available evidence to persuade the court or jury to rule in your favor. You can do this by asking about your best arguments and what information supports those claims.

Arrange a Consultation

Your attorney should address these questions and any other concerns during a consultation. When you initially call a law firm, you will likely speak with an administrative professional. However, your consultation should be with an actual federal criminal defense attorney.

During your consultation, you can ask about the outlook for your case. A good lawyer will be honest and truthfully tell you the chances you have of receiving a positive outcome. If things don’t look great, your attorney can at least tell you some alternatives to the harshest penalties and how they can help you avoid the worst-case scenario.

Learn More from a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Before you decide which federal criminal defense lawyer you want to hire, ask them enough questions that you are comfortable with their representation. You must trust them with personal information, some of which may be incriminating. Be honest with your potential lawyer and know that everything you share with them is privileged.

The federal criminal defense attorneys at Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC have helped countless people facing federal indictments. We develop strategic defenses that help our clients get the best outcome possible in their cases. Call us today at (505) 295-3261 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

5 Signs You Could Be Under Federal Investigation

Many federal agencies are authorized to carry out investigations. If you think you may be under federal investigation, you should contact a federal defense attorney immediately.

Those agencies will collect evidence against you, and you need someone on your side to protect your rights and prevent federal charges or arrest.

Who Conducts Federal Investigations?

Many federal agencies may conduct investigations. They may be tipped off by an informant, or your actions may seem suspicious. No matter the reason for their investigation, you need to find out who they are and what they want.

Some of the agencies that have the authorization to perform formal investigations include:

  • The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • The Secret Service (SS)
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (AFT)

Federal investigations generally arise because a government agency believes you have broken a federal law, you committed a crime on federal land, or your crime occurred across state lines.

What Happens in a Federal Investigation?

A federal investigation may begin when there is a report about a crime that has been committed. In some cases, federal charges are related to data obtained by a federal agency, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Upon receiving information about a federal crime, special agents will begin a federal investigation involving an organization or individual. They will gather evidence and interview witnesses. Multiple federal agencies may be involved in a single case.

Federal agents work on a case that is assigned to a federal prosecutor. The prosecutor helps the agents obtain legal documents like subpoenas and search warrants. The prosecutor also files formal criminal charges.

Federal agents use many tools to collect information during their investigation and obtain a federal indictment.

How Long Does a Federal Investigation Take?

A federal investigation could get resolved quickly, or years could pass. The length of time depends on how long it takes agents to obtain the information they need to support federal criminal charges.

5 Signs You Might Be Under Federal Investigation

You should be aware of some telltale signs that you are under federal investigation. This helps you determine when to contact a federal defense attorney to protect your interests.

1. You Receive a Target Letter

A federal prosecutor may issue a target letter requesting your cooperation in the case. It will ask you to speak with the investigators and provide information about a specific topic.

The letter may not state exactly what they want to know. You should never answer their questions without first getting legal advice from a federal criminal defense attorney.

2. You Are Served a Subpoena

The court may order a subpoena to force you to testify in a case. They could also order one to obtain documents, such as business records or tax information. If you receive a federal subpoena, you should know your Constitutional right against self-incrimination.

3. Your Friends or Family Are Questioned

Federal agents may begin questioning friends, family, or business partners. If they ask about you or your organization, you may be the target of a federal investigation. You should tell your acquaintances not to answer their questions willingly and immediately call a federal defense lawyer.

4. You’re Approached by Federal Agents

If federal agents have a significant amount of evidence against you, they might talk to you directly to get more information. They may knock on your door unexpectedly and ask to speak with you. You should never talk to federal agents without first seeking legal counsel.

5. A Search Warrant Has Been Issued

If a federal agent approaches you with a search warrant to look at your home, business, or other location, you should know that you are likely under investigation. The prosecutor must have enough probable cause to prove to a judge that you may have committed a crime to get a search warrant. You must allow the federal agents to execute a search warrant, but do not offer any additional information without your lawyer present.

What to Do if You’re Under Federal Investigation

You must call a defense lawyer with experience in federal crimes if you think a federal agency is investigating you. Your federal defense lawyer could help protect your rights and interests throughout an investigation.

You have a right to have an attorney present at all stages of a federal investigation. If federal agents approach you, do not waive your right to legal counsel. Federal investigators are trained to get you to talk. Don’t succumb to their tactics. Call an attorney before you discuss anything with them.

Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Offer Legal Protection

If you are the target of a federal investigation, you may have no idea what steps you should take. Instead of trying to diffuse the situation alone, contact a federal lawyer who can evaluate the situation and help you present a solid defense.

Contact Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC today at (505) 295-3261, or use our online form to reach out.

Street Crime vs. White-Collar Crime

You might think all crime is the same – involving guns, gangs, and violence. However, crime commonly depicted in media is usually what is called “street crime” or “blue collar crime.”

There is another type of crime called “white-collar crime.” These terms sound confusing, but they are very descriptive of the kinds of offenses involved in each.

Defining White Collar and Street Crimes

There are many similarities and differences between street crimes and white-collar crimes.

Street crime, also called “blue-collar crime,” is often thought to be committed by stereotypical criminals. These crimes often involve weapons and violence; however, they don’t have to. There is generally an easily identifiable victim in street crime offenses.

On the other hand, white-collar crime is typically committed by business and government professionals (who often wear button-up shirts with white collars). These crimes are non-violent and may be challenging to identify. They may cause significant monetary damage instead of physical harm.

These illegal acts often appear to be general work activities for a white-collar criminal. Despite this, white-collar crimes do have victims. Those victims may be individuals, or the victim may be a business or the public in general.

Types of White-Collar Crime

White-collar crimes often cross state lines and may be federal offenses. They have significant penalties and consequences that can ruin the lives of those accused, regardless of whether they are ultimately convicted.

Some common types of white-collar crime include:

  • Corporate fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Securities & commodities fraud
  • Falsification of financial information
  • Self-dealing by corporate insiders (insider trading)
  • Mortgage and financial institution/bank fraud
  • Intellectual property theft/piracy
  • Bribery
  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Health care fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Public corruption

Often multiple law enforcement agencies are involved in the investigations of these crimes. These investigations can take years to complete because obtaining the necessary evidence for a federal indictment can be complicated.

Types of Street Crime

There are generally two types of street crimes – crimes against persons and crimes against property.

Some crimes against other people include:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Robbery

Some common crimes against property include:

  • Burglary
  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Shoplifting
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism
  • Arson

Street crime may be charged in state or federal court. However, local law enforcement often begins the investigation, which may be transferred to federal agencies if criminal charges are initiated.

Public Perceptions of White-Collar vs. Street Crime

People generally think of these two categories of crime differently. There is a negative public perception of street crime, with very few excuses for such behavior. White-collar crime is not as negatively viewed, and the public may be more likely to excuse it for various reasons.

Perceptions of Street Criminals

The stereotypical street criminal may be thought of as an inherently “bad” individual who commits criminal acts purposefully to harm another person. One of the elements of most street crimes is that the criminal had the necessary “intent” to harm another person.

Additionally, the news media covers street crime frequently and highlights it often. Blue-collar crime is generally easier to understand and form an opinion about. The public usually has a disproportionate view of how prevalent street crime is compared to white-collar crime.

Perceptions of White-Collar Criminals

White-collar criminals are often motivated by money and do not want to hurt others. The public may even applaud a white-collar criminal who “sticks it to the man” and defrauds a large company. Public perception of white-collar crime is not as negative as street crimes.

In some cases, white-collar criminals are more affluent and have connections in the professional world. Their behavior may be swept under the rug or ignored in some circles. Although a federal indictment will bring their criminal activity to light, the public may not understand precisely what happened or who has been harmed.

Prosecution and Punishment of Street Crime vs. White-Collar Crime

Although street crime and white-collar crime are different, they are prosecuted and punished similarly. Both types of crime begin with an investigation by law enforcement and charges brought against an individual. You have a right to effective legal assistance no matter what crime you have been charged with.

Street crime is typically prosecuted in state court, and penalties include time in prison and fines— white-collar crime is more often seen in federal courts. Penalties may also include prison time, but fines are usually much higher for white-collar crimes. For example, a conviction for insider trading can result in a fine of up to $5 million.

Instead of prison, white-collar crimes may result in home detention, community confinement, and supervised release. Since these crimes are not violent, defendants may have more options for punishment.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney for Any Type of Charges

You need a criminal defense lawyer if you or a loved one has been charged with a street or white-collar crime. Both categories of offenses result in severe penalties that can affect your entire life.

You need to contact someone with experience with crimes like yours and familiar with relevant laws.

Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC has helped clients with all types of crimes. Call us today at (505) 295-3261 or use our online contact form to reach out.

How Long Do Criminal Appeals Take in New Mexico?

If you are convicted of a crime, you might feel like the future is bleak. However, this does not have to be the end. You still have options, including filing a direct appeal of your conviction.

Many mistakes and errors could lead to a reversal of the decision in your case. You have limited time to file an appeal, so you should contact a criminal appeals lawyer as soon as possible. Then, the appeal can take time to work through the New Mexico court system.

The Steps in the Criminal Appeal Process

Specific steps must be taken when filing a criminal appeal. You may forfeit your right to appeal if you miss any steps or fail to take them within a deadline.

Filing Your Notice of Appeal

A Notice of Appeal (NOA) is a simple document that puts the court on notice that you are appealing your conviction. Within the NOA, you must have the following information:

  • Names of both parties
  • Name and address of appellate counsel
  • Name of the trial court
  • Copy of the original judgment or order showing the date
  • Certificate of the district attorney

The NOA must be filed with the court clerk, and a copy must be served on the other party. In a criminal case, the other party is the district attorney or prosecutor.

Filing Your Docketing Statement

A docketing statement is a substitute for a transcript of proceedings. It is an adequate alternative to a complete transcript when the entire one is not necessary. It could take two to six weeks to obtain and file a docketing statement.

How Long Does It Take for a Case to Be Calendared

The docketing statement allows the court to calendar your appeal. It could take an average of two months to calendar a case after the docketing statement is filed with the Court of Appeals. If the docketing statement is filed earlier, your case may be calendared earlier.

How Long Does It Take for the Court to Decide a Case?

It could take a few months to two years for the Court of Appeal to decide your case. Cases take, on average, about one and a half years from the date the NOA was filed to be determined by an appellate court. However, about 5% of the cases on the calendar take much longer.

The time varies so much because there may be circumstances that extend the process. For example, if the attorneys file lengthy briefs or ask for an oral hearing, the appeal may take longer to move through the system.

Once a case is put on the calendar, it usually only takes six months to get a decision from the appellate court.

How Can a Criminal Appeals Attorney Help You

Appealing a criminal decision can be complex. If you want to succeed, you must raise all possible challenges to the lower court decision. If you do not make specific arguments, they may be forfeited for your appeal and other post-conviction relief in the future.

The best criminal appeals lawyers in Albuquerque help you make arguments like:

  • You received ineffective assistance of counsel at the trial level
  • Your Constitutional rights were violated
  • There was prosecutorial misconduct
  • There was misconduct on the part of law enforcement
  • The trial court made an error

Call Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC Today

The criminal appeals law firm of Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC has extensive experience working with clients convicted at the trial court level. Our criminal appeals and post-conviction work is dynamic and considers all arguments possible. We develop strategic methods of targeting your conviction and work to get you released.

Call us today at (505) 295-3261 or use our online contact form to reach out.

How Do I Get Out of a Subpoena?

If you’ve been served a subpoena to testify in court, there are many reasons you might want to avoid it. Testifying in state or federal court does present risks, and you should avoid the chance of adverse consequences if possible.

However, you cannot just ignore the subpoena. If you do, you might face charges for contempt of court, a federal criminal offense. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer could help you get out of a subpoena.

What Is a Subpoena?

A subpoena is a legal document issued by a court order that requires action by the person named in that document. The term “subpoena” literally means “under penalty.” Failure to comply with a federal subpoena can lead to severe consequences, including incarceration and fines.

A subpoena generally requires a person to appear in court or at a legal proceeding. A person who is the subject of a subpoena must provide testimony about topics relevant to a specific case. You may also be issued a command to bring particular documents or evidence.

Protecting Your Interests after You’re Served

While you may want to protect yourself, you cannot ignore a subpoena.

However, you can still protect your interests if you’re served. There may be a legal reason that would allow you to avoid testifying or providing documents. A motion to quash the subpoena may get you out of testifying.

Self-Incrimination

You have a constitutional right against self-incrimination. The court cannot force you to answer questions that might implicate you in a crime.

For example, if the subpoena wants you to testify about an incident that you were part of that may be considered illegal, you cannot be forced to testify about your involvement.

Privilege

You may not have to reveal confidential information about a client, patient, or spouse if you have the legal privilege. For example, if a subpoena requests medical records and testimony about what a patient said to you, you may avoid it if the patient has not permitted you to talk about that topic.

While the court may still order you to comply with the subpoena, you have options to avoid it to prevent yourself from violating professional ethics codes and obligations.

Scheduling Conflicts

Your interests may be in other personal or professional activities scheduled at the same date or time listed in the subpoena. You can contact the party who issued the subpoena or the judge and try to reschedule.

If they don’t cooperate, you may need to contact your attorney or seek the court’s assistance. Any communication about rescheduling should be documented in writing to protect yourself.

Can You Get Out of a Subpoena?

There are ways you can get out of a subpoena. The grounds for challenging a subpoena include three categories: (1) service issues; (2) jurisdictional issues; and (3) scope issues.

Service Issues

A federal subpoena must be served appropriately. However, many federal agencies have adopted rules that allow a party to validly serve a subpoena in nearly any way possible.

For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allows the service of a subpoena by mail, in person, to an office or residence, by fax, or to legal counsel.

Judicial subpoenas for court hearings are generally more limited. For example, in most federal court jurisdictions, civil and criminal cases require in-person service of a subpoena. This is true in most state cases as well.

If your subpoena was not properly served, you may not have to appear for it.

Jurisdictional Issues

If a court does not have jurisdiction over the matter in the subpoena or the person named in the document, then the subpoena may also be invalid.

A jurisdictional issue may offer you temporary relief from testifying or presenting documents; however, it is not likely to completely get you out of a subpoena. The agency or party will not likely give up on obtaining the information.

Scope Issues

If there are substantive issues with the subpoena itself, then you may challenge the scope of the information being sought. You must make assertive grounds for challenging the scope of a subpoena, which may include the following:

  • Topic is overly broad
  • Insufficient details about information requested
  • Undue burden on person named
  • Privileged information

Moving to Quash or Modify the Subpoena

If you want to challenge a subpoena, your attorney must file a motion to quash or modify the subpoena. A motion to quash will attempt to get out of the testimony completely. Modifying the subpoena may allow you to protect your interests by restricting what you have to say and present at the hearing.

Ignoring a Subpoena Can Bring Serious Penalties

Do not ever completely ignore a subpoena. If you do not show up at the date and time listed on the subpoena, the court may issue an order to appear. If you fail to appear, the court may issue a contempt order. In federal cases, contempt of court is a criminal charge that can result in fines and jail time.

Contact an Attorney for Help Responding to a Subpoena

If you receive a subpoena, you should immediately contact a lawyer to help you decide what your best steps are going forward. We will listen to the details of your situation and confidentially give you legal advice about what you should do.

If you want to get out of testifying or presenting documents, we can help you file a motion to quash.

Call Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC at (505) 295-3261 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

What Happens at a Federal Detention Hearing?

You will face two immediate hearings before a judge if you have been charged with a federal crime. The first will be your arraignment, which involves the government reading official charges against you.

Then, if the U.S. Attorney wants you detained instead of released, a federal detention hearing will be scheduled to occur within three to five days. Reduce your anxiety about the federal detention hearing by knowing what to expect.

What to Expect at a Federal Detention Hearing

When you are initially arrested for a federal crime, you will be taken to jail. You must remain in jail until the U.S. Attorney agrees to your release or you challenge your incarceration at a federal detention hearing.

When Is the Federal Detention Hearing?

You are entitled to a federal detention hearing within three business days of your arraignment. That means if your arraignment occurs on a Monday or Tuesday, you could be out within the same week. However, if your arraignment is towards the end of a week, you may have to sit in jail over the weekend.

The Government Will Argue to Keep You in Jail

At the federal detention hearing, the government will argue that you should remain in custody until your case is resolved. They must present evidence that there is probable cause to believe you committed a federal crime. They must also show that if you were released, you would be a danger to the community or you are a flight risk.

Your Attorney Can Fight to Get You Released

Your federal defense lawyer has an opportunity to dispute those claims. Your best arguments at this juncture are that you are not dangerous and have no reason to leave the court’s jurisdiction.

The judge decides whether you can be released or held in custody until your trial.

Influencing Factors on the Outcome of Your Hearing

A federal judge considers many factors when deciding whether to keep you in jail or release you, including:

  • Your criminal history
  • The nature of your charges (e.g., if you are accused of being violent)
  • The weight of the evidence against you
  • The U.S. Attorney’s recommendation to detain or release you
  • Your character, health, and history
  • Ties to local family and the community
  • Your financial resources
  • Prior failure to appear in court
  • Whether you are a threat to the community
  • Your immigration status

These factors also determine the terms of your release if you can leave while your case is pending.

What Happens after a Federal Detention Hearing?

Upon completion of the federal defense hearing, you may be held pending trial or released on recognizance (ROR) with conditions of release.

You May Be Held in Jail Until Your Trial

You will not be released if the judge determines there are no conditions of release that will assure you will return to court proceedings or you pose a danger to society. You may be held without bail until your case is resolved.

You May Be Released

However, if the federal judge decides you are eligible for release, they may release you on personal recognizance. That means with the execution of an unsecured appearance bond. They may also release you to a third-party custodian, often a friend or family member responsible for you returning to court.

Conditions of your release might include:

  • You must report to a probation officer periodically and upon request
  • You must report any additional criminal activity (including traffic violations)
  • You must surrender your passport
  • You cannot leave the county, state, or court’s jurisdiction
  • You must attend school or work full time
  • You must consent to drug and alcohol testing
  • You must wear a tracking monitor

A Federal Defense Attorney Helps During Your Detention Hearing

If you have an approaching federal detention hearing, you must hire a lawyer who understands how to get you out of jail. The federal defense attorneys at Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC have extensive experience representing clients at all stages of cases. We will attend your detention hearing with you and fight to get you released.

Call us today at (505) 295-3261 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Mass Tort vs. Class Action

You may be familiar with significant cases that involve hundreds or thousands of people against large companies that result in million-dollar settlements. These cases are often class action claims made by people with similar injuries.

However, another type of claim can involve a single defendant called a mass tort. Understanding the difference helps you know which type of lawsuit might benefit your claim.

What Is a Mass Tort Claim?

A mass tort claim is a group of lawsuits filed by many people individually. These lawsuits are generally related to personal injuries where people have been harmed due to defective or dangerous products. These claims hold large companies liable for injuries suffered by the public.

In a mass tort claim, plaintiffs can all use similar evidence against the defendants; however, they prove their damages separately. This reduces legal fees and discovery costs while maximizing compensation for each plaintiff.

When Would Someone File a Mass Tort Claim?

Mass tort litigation involves each plaintiff (person who was harmed) filing an individual lawsuit against the company because they have unique injuries.

Those injuries would be so different than those suffered by others that they deserve an independent consideration of compensation. In many cases, a person can obtain a greater amount of compensation when they conduct an individual lawsuit in a mass tort claim. Defective products, health code violations, and foodborne illnesses are some examples of mass tort claims.

What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action is another lawsuit involving multiple plaintiffs and one defendant. However, in these claims, the plaintiffs join in filing one lawsuit and seek a single settlement or jury verdict that will be split between the plaintiffs.

Class actions benefit plaintiffs because they put pressure on the defendant. Defendants facing class action lawsuits are often ready to settle the case and do away with the large claim.

Plaintiffs in class actions pool resources with the same law firm to pay for legal fees and costs and to obtain a larger settlement.

When Would a Class Action Lawsuit Apply?

A court must approve class action lawsuits. Multiple plaintiffs cannot file a class action without first having it approved.

A class action must involve many people with similar injuries and damages. Otherwise, the compensation obtained would not be fair to everyone involved. You might consider a class action suit in situations involving unsafe drugs, unfair business practices, or victims of fraud, among other cases.

A class action is beneficial when plaintiffs cannot afford legal counsel or do not wish to participate directly in a case. Additionally, if an injured person wants to file their claim, they may opt out of the class action in some circumstances. There are deadlines to opt out of a class action.

How Are Class Actions Different Than Mass Torts?

Some of the differences between class actions and mass torts include the following:

  • Mass torts result in individual recoveries for each plaintiff, whereas class actions get one large settlement split among plaintiffs.
  • One law firm represents everyone in a class action, while multiple firms may be involved in mass tort claims.
  • A plaintiff may get a more significant recovery in a mass tort claim; however, they will also have more legal costs.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Understand Your Options

If you have suffered harm similar to that of many other people, you could join a class action or file a mass tort claim. You have options to consider when approaching your case. You should consult a personal injury lawyer who can review your injuries and help you move forward.

Call Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC at (505) 295-3261 or contact us online for a consultation.

Can Federal Convictions Be Expunged?

You may have made a mistake in your past that resulted in a federal conviction. You might wonder if you can get that crime expunged from your criminal record.

However, unlike many state offenses, very few federal convictions get expunged. A knowledgeable federal expungement lawyer helps determine if you qualify for relief.

Crimes Carrying Possible Federal Charges

Crimes resulting in federal charges violate federal laws, occur on federal land, or cross state lines. There are many different types of crimes that may be charged as federal offenses. Many of those crimes parallel state offenses that may be similar. However, elements and penalties may be different.

Some common crimes that may result in federal charges include:

  • Arson and explosive violations
  • Bank embezzlement and bank fraud
  • Bankruptcy fraud
  • Bribery and public corruption
  • Computer and e-mail intrusion
  • Counterfeiting and forgery
  • Corporate fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Drug-related offenses
  • Violations of environmental regulations
  • Firearm offenses
  • Identity theft
  • Human trafficking
  • Insurance fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Murder or manslaughter on federal property
  • Pornography or child pornography charges
  • Sexual abuse and exploitation
  • Solicitation to commit a federal crime
  • Tax offenses
  • Terrorism
  • Wildlife violations
  • Wire fraud

Can Federal Convictions Be Expunged?

When a conviction is expunged, it clears your criminal record as if it never existed. Once expunged, no one can see your federal arrest or conviction.

However, most federal offenses are not eligible for expungement. In most jurisdictions, only defendants with minor offenses under the Controlled Substances Act can get a record expungement. Federal criminal record expungement is extremely limited.

Some federal courts acknowledge a judge’s power to “make things right,” which may include expunging an arrest or conviction record. Depending on where you were convicted, you could seek an expungement of crimes other than minor drug offenses.

Important Exception for Certain Drug Charges

The federal government allows expungement for minor drug convictions, including simple possession of a controlled substance.

If a person was under 21 at the time of the offense, they can apply for an expungement, which will be automatically granted.

Also, if a person of any age is found guilty of a minor drug charge, they have no prior such offenses, and they comply with their probation, the federal court would dismiss the proceedings against them. This would clear their criminal record.

How to Expunge a Federal Conviction

There is no specified process to request a federal expunction. However, applying in the federal district court where you were convicted is best. You may also write a letter to the judge who presided over your case.

There is no published form to get an expungement. You should include your name, case number, a summary of the facts of your case, and reasons an expungement should be granted.

You must be persuasive and make claims about your rehabilitation and the miscarriage of justice if you must reveal your conviction to your employers and others.

Federal Clemency

Federal clemency is a commutation of a sentence granted by the President of the United States. It essentially reduces a federal prisoner’s ruling but does not restore other rights, such as the right to own guns.

Federal clemency was most common before the 1980s; however, it has become less frequent in recent years. Under President Barack Obama, 1,715 inmates were granted federal clemency. Despite presidents granting fewer clemencies, it is still an option for rehabilitated inmates.

A Federal Expungement Lawyer Can Evaluate Your Case

If you are interested in expunging your federal conviction, you should contact a lawyer familiar with the federal process to do so. While most people do not qualify for expungement, it may be possible to regain some of your civil rights that were removed when you were convicted.

Contact Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC at (505) 295-3261 , or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

The Right Firm For Your Case

We’re ready to help you get your life back on track.

From our office in Albuquerque, Harrison, Hart & Davis, LLC serves clients throughout New Mexico. We are focused on getting you the best outcome possible in the harshest of situations.

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