Federal Crimes

Milwaukee Attorney Protecting the Rights of Defendants

If you have recently been arrested or charged with a federal crime, you may be facing the prospect of a lengthy and stressful proceeding in federal court. Federal prosecutors are notoriously aggressive in their pursuit of defendants, and fighting the charges that you face may be more complicated than you initially anticipate. In order to protect your rights, you can enlist Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer William J. Reddin. He has over three decades of experience representing defendants against even the most aggressive federal prosecutors, and he is knowledgeable in a broad range of offenses that may be charged under federal law, such as drug crimes and white collar crimes.

Fighting Charges Brought by Federal Prosecutors

Most of the acts that we typically think of as criminal, such as homicide, robbery, or assault, are considered to be state crimes and are governed by state law. However, a limited group of offenses falls within the federal jurisdiction and is prosecuted by the federal government rather than by the state.

Federal crimes fall into several broad categories. Any offense that occurs on federal property is a federal crime. More notably, the federal government has jurisdiction over white collar crimes that involve federal processes or programs. For instance, tax fraud and mail fraud are federal crimes. This is because the government regulates the tax system through the Internal Revenue Service, and it is also responsible for the delivery of mail. Some similar and increasingly prosecuted federal crimes are securities fraud and bank fraud, both of which are areas regulated by the federal government. Finally, federal crimes include offenses that are not limited to one state but instead occur across state lines. For instance, the trafficking of drugs is a federal crime, as is the trafficking of pornographic material.

While the types of crimes subject to federal jurisdiction are unique, defenses subject to federal crimes are often very similar to state crimes. The federal government must still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the act in question and did so with the mental state required by the applicable law. Thus, for instance, in a prosecution for wire fraud or mail fraud, the government must show that the defendant undertook certain actions with an intent to deceive. If a defendant can show that he did not intend to deceive but was mistaken at the time, or was mentally unstable and could not understand what he was doing, this may be a defense to the mental state element. Likewise, if the defendant can prove that although he committed the act in question, he did so because he was forced to do it, this may be a defense to the charges.

Other defenses may hinge more on procedural matters than the substantive elements of the crime. For example, law enforcement may seize evidence without complying with the warrant requirements of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. If this happens, it may be possible to have any items obtained in that search excluded from the ensuing proceedings. In other situations, testimony by a defendant may be excluded if he or she was arrested and questioned about his or her possible involvement in a crime without having been informed of the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

Consult a Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Milwaukee Area

Defending against federal charges often requires different tactics and skills than those needed in the state criminal justice system. Federal prosecutors may take different approaches to trying a case than the State District Attorney’s Office. Federal trials are also overseen by federal judges in federal courtrooms, with different procedures and requirements than state courtrooms.

At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee federal crimes attorney William J. Reddin has fought drug charges as well as prosecutions for white collar crimes and other offenses brought at this level. He can appear in the Eastern District Court of Wisconsin in Milwaukee as well as the Western District Court of Wisconsin in Madison. Reddin & Singer also represents defendants in Port Washington, Mequon, Racine, West Bend, Waukesha, and other communities throughout Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. Contact us online or at (414) 271-6400 to set up a free consultation.