If you are facing federal criminal charges for the first time, you might not know what to expect. Facing any type of criminal charges can be upsetting and frightening, but it can be particularly worrisome if you are facing federal charges. If you have found yourself in this situation, you will probably want to know these things about dealing with your legal situation.
1. The Laws Are Different From State Laws
For one thing, you should know that federal laws are very different from state laws. Even if you think that you have a solid understanding of the laws that are related to your case, you should make sure that your knowledge is not based on state laws. You could be facing different consequences than you realize, too, since sentencing can be very different for federal charges than for state charges, too.
2. You May Need to Hire a Different Attorney
Of course, hiring a good attorney is important when dealing with any legal situation. If you already know of a good attorney in your area, you should make sure that he or she has experience in handling federal cases rather than just state cases. You might find that you will need to hire a federal criminal attorney who has experience with federal laws, federal court systems, and more. This can help you ensure that the lawyer will be willing to take on your case and that he or she will be knowledgeable and experienced enough to provide you with the best possible defense while you're handling your case.
3. Jails and Prisons Are Different
If you end up being sentenced to jail or prison time because of your federal criminal charges, you should know that you will serve your time in a federal facility rather than a local jail or state-operated prison. One thing that many people do not realize is that those who are sentenced to serve federal prison time can be moved to a facility in a different part of the country, so you could end up being incarcerated in a state that is many miles away from your hometown. Additionally, although there are certainly many similarities between federal facilities and local and state jails and prisons, there are a lot of differences in the way that they are operated, too. Although you are probably hoping that you will be able to preserve your freedom and avoid serving jail or prison time, it's smart to be prepared for federal jail or prison if you are facing serious charges.