Facing Massachusetts federal criminal charges can be overwhelming and make you feel like you have no where to turn. Fortunately, the federal criminal defense lawyers at Marin and Barrett, Inc. have dealt with the United States Attorneys Office before and stand ready to help you fight federal charges. If you're one of the many that have been indicted on a Boston federal criminal charge, we can help. For aggressive, skilled, and experienced legal representation contact Massachusetts Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Kensley Barrett at Marin and Barrett, Inc. today to receive a no-obligation, free federal criminal defense strategy session. Call today at 857-229-2442! Your future may depend on it.
Whether you have been indicted on a federal offense, are under federal investigation by a federal agency, or are concerned that a federal warrant has been issued for your arrest, our Massachusetts Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys will help alleviate your fears, so you can face the legal facts before you with knowledge and superior insight.
BOSTON FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
ATTORNEY KENSLEY BARRETT
CALL US TODAY AT 857-229-2442
At Marin & Barrett, we focus our practice in the aggressive representation of persons facing federal criminal charges. We defend individuals charged with the following federal crimes:
- Federal Drug Crimes including Federal Drug Distribution and Federal Drug Trafficking
- Federal Fraud Charges (Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud, Healthcare Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Securities Fraud)
- Federal Conspiracy Crimes
- Federal Child Pornography Possession, Transfer, and Distribution of Child Pornography
- Federal Cyberstalking
- Federal Firearms Offenses (Felon in Possession)
- Federal Sex Crimes, Sexual Abuse, and Federal Sex Offenses
- Federal Property Crimes (Theft, Embezzlement)
- Federal Coronavirus Fraud
- Federal Financial Crimes and Federal White Collar Crimes
Federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), US Secret Service, and the US Postal Service (USPS) have a seemingly limitless amount of resources dedicated to investigating a case and often times months, weeks, and years are spent before charges are brought.
If you under suspicion of committing fraud or have been arrested for fraud, you need an attorney who fully understands every detail of your case and is committed to your personal well-being.
I HAVE BEEN ARRESTED ON MASSACHUSETTS FEDERAL CRIMINAL CHARGES, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
If you are appearing in Boston federal court for the first time, you can expect a series of events beginning with an initial appearance. Many defendants are initially charged by a complaint filed with the district court; others make their initial appearance pursuant to a federal indictment.
What is a federal indictment? An indictment is the formal notice provided to an individual that contains the basic information of the charge(s) that the government has filed against the individual.
If you are appearing in court for an initial appearance pursuant to a complaint, you are entitled to a preliminary examination within ten days (if in custody) or within 20 days (if not in custody). The preliminary examination is a hearing that is conducted in which the magistrate/judge determines whether there is probable cause that a crime has been committed. Following the initial appearance, an indictment must be returned within 30 days of the arrest.
If you are appearing in court pursuant to an indictment, there is no need for a preliminary examination because a grand jury has determined that there is probable cause by returning the indictment.
WILL I GET BAIL ON A MASSACHUSETTS FEDERAL CRIMINAL CHARGES?
The Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. 3142, sets forth the procedures for determining whether you will be released or detained pending trial. The Act contains a presumption of an individual being released on the least restrictive conditions.
Additionally, the magistrate/judge may NOT impose a financial condition (i.e. bond) that results in pretrial detention. If a financial condition is the only condition that will reasonably assure the defendant's appearance and/or safety of the community, detention may result.
In federal court in Boston, a pretrial services officer will interview you to obtain information relevant to bail or detention - such as ties to the community, employment, and prior criminal record. The report generated by the pretrial services officer will typically contain a recommendation for conditions of release and/or detention.
In some instances, the court or the government may request pretrial detention. Those instances include when the person is currently on probation or parole, or are on conditional release, or for persons who are not citizens of the United States (18 U.S.C. 3142(d).
Also, the government may request detention for cases involving drug offenses carrying a maximum sentence of ten years or more, or in cases involving a crime of violence in which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death.
Any request for detention by the government must be made at the defendant's initial appearance and a hearing must be conducted within 3-5 days afterwards.
MASSACHUSETTS FEDERAL CRIMINAL BAIL FACTORS
Generally, the court will look at certain factors in assessing the conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the person and the safety of the community. This includes:
(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense including whether the offense is a crime of violence or involves a narcotic drug;
(2) the weight of the evidence against the person;
(3) the history and characteristics of the person – physical and mental condition, family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties, past conduct, history of drug/alcohol abuse, criminal history, and record of appearances at court proceedings;
(4) the nature and circumstances of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person's release.
WHEN IS MY TRIAL ON MASSACHUSETTS FEDERAL CRIMINAL CHARGES?
The Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. 3161 provides for specific time limits in which federal criminal cases are to be prosecuted and brought to trial. In general, a defendant must be tried within 70 days of the filing date of an indictment/information or on the date of appearance on the indictment or information.
The defendant can extend the time period between the arraignment and the trial date under certain circumstances, including time for preparation for trial. At trial, the United States Government must prove the criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL SENTENCES IF I AM FOUND GUILTY AFTER TRIAL OR IF I ENTER A PLEA TO A MASSACHUSETTS FEDERAL CRIMINAL CHARGE?
The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 set forth the factors to be considered in imposing a sentence after a defendant is found guilty or changes a plea from not guilty to guilty. The Sentencing Act also mandates that the court imposes a guideline sentence unless the court finds an “aggravating or mitigating factor, of a kind or to a degree not adequately considered by the Sentencing Commission” exists.
WHAT ARE THE CLASSES OF FEDERAL CRIMINAL CHARGES?
In determining whether to impose a term of imprisonment and what length of term to impose, it is first important to understand that the maximum penalties are for the type of crime committed. Under 18 U.S.C. 3581, the terms of imprisonment are based on the following classes:
(1) Class A felony – any period of time to life;
(2) Class B felony – not more than 25 years;
(3) Class C felony – not more than 12 years;
(4) Class D felony - not more than six years;
(5) Class E felony - not more than three years;
(6) Class A misdemeanor – not more than one year;
(7) Class B misdemeanor – not more than six months;
(8) Class C misdemeanor – not more than 30 days;
(9) An infraction – not more than five days.
It is important to note that these terms of imprisonment are maximum penalties. Depending on factors set forth in the sentencing guidelines, penalties quite often are below the maximum penalties. Additionally, sentencing options vary, including: probation, fines, restitution, criminal forfeiture, supervised release, and imprisonment.
In fact, the sentencing guidelines reflect the general appropriateness of imposing a sentence other than a prison sentence in cases where the defendant is a first-time, non-violent, non-serious offender.
Conversely, certain criminal cases call for mandatory federal prison sentences, such as a five-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for carrying/using a firearm during a crime of violence or drug trafficking; 15 year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for “armed career criminals”; and mandatory life imprisonment for first degree murder.
However, there are situations in which the court and/or government can move for a “downward departure” based on “substantial cooperation” that can reduce a term of imprisonment beneath the mandatory minimum sentence. Also, sentencing reform has provided a “safety valve” in certain drug offenses that can reduce a defendant's exposure to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment based on certain criteria.
SHOULD I HIRE A MASSACHUSETTS FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY?
As you can see, it is prudent to retain an experienced attorney who can help you understand the complexities of the sentencing guidelines in helping you navigate the Boston federal court system. At Marin and Barrett, Inc., we have experience representing clients in the Boston Federal Court for a variety of federal criminal offenses. We are available 24/7 to discuss your case and provide a no-obligation federal criminal defense strategy session from an experienced Boston Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer. Call our law firm today at 857-229-2442 to schedule an initial consultation and discuss your legal options and constitutional defenses.