I've been doing this now for almost 30 years, handling matters at the federal level all over the country. I think I have a pretty good feel for those attorneys who I would consider among the best.
Of course, I am including myself in there, so a lot of the things I am touching upon, I believe I possess the superior skills as it relates to them.
I think the first thing, believe it or not, is really getting a feel for your client, what their hopes are, how is life is set up and what it is going to take to do the best possible job for that particular person.
This is important, because a lot of people come in with different thoughts about how their federal case should be handled, what the ultimate outcomes should be and what the plan of attack should be.
So, that's one of the first things you have to do, which is really get to know your client and what they expect out of their federal criminal case.
I've noticed that most federal criminal defendants are more sophisticated than your average defendant, so they are intelligent. But, just because they are intelligent doesn't mean they understand the federal criminal system.
Educating Client on How the Federal System Works
That's where a great — the best — federal criminal defense attorneys stand out, because they not only educate their client on how the system works, but they educate their client on how the system relates to their particular case.
Sometimes people come into a situation scared, but thinking that they know how a case should be handled. In reality most of the time they don't because they haven't been
in court. For example:
- They haven't seen how juries react to evidence;
- They haven't seen how the federal prosecutors investigate and deal with some of these cases, and
- They haven't see how judges relate to these federal criminal cases.
So, that is step number one, that is educating your client, getting to know your client and then matching those things up with your client's case.
So, when your client is done with that meeting, really has a feel for what they are up against and what's realistic based on their circumstances.
Ability to Best Evaluate Your Federal Case
So, when you read some of these posts on the internet about federal criminal cases, you have to realize that they are providing general information and they don't necessarily relate to your case.
So, just because someone is explaining some great result they got from one of their client, doesn't necessarily mean that they have that same defense or that same strategy in your case.
You obviously have to help them make that decision. In other words, help them find out about you, help them find out about what evidence you might know about and you also want to be real honest with the federal criminal defense attorney so they can best assess your case and your circumstances.
If you are either not truthful or you leave out important facts, then you're not going to get the best result in your federal criminal case.
Skill to Win a Federal Criminal Case at Trial
I think another important characteristic about the best federal criminal defense attorneys is that they have the skill to fight and win a case at a trial.
Now, I will say this to you, not all federal cases are the same and should go to trial. In fact, there's a pretty strong argument that most federal cases shouldn't go to trial.
However, that doesn't mean you don't want your attorney to be highly skilled at trying a case because attorneys that can try cases also know:
- how to value a federal case;
- know when the prosecutors have over-filed the case; and
- know how to effectively negotiate with federal prosecutors.
So, to me, if you have an attorney who can litigate your federal criminal case, those are the best.
This is not only because they are going to be able to litigate, they're also going to be able to investigate, and also be able to relate to the prosecutors and judges and get you the best possible outcome in your case.
Experience Handling Criminal Cases at the Federal Level
The last thing I would say is, your attorney has got to have experience at the federal level handling criminal cases. You obviously don't want your case to be their first criminal case.
Believe it or not, most criminal defense attorneys, in my experience, do not do federal cases. The criminal attorneys usually do only state level cases.
A lot of them are afraid to do federal cases because they don't understand them. They've never handled them before and they're not exactly the same beast as a state criminal case.
Right from the beginning, when somebody gets arrested, they're usually brought into court pretty quickly.
Getting You Released from Federal Custody
A lot of times I see people being brought into court the same day, so your attorney has got to know how to argue bail, which is very important in a federal criminal case. You don't get to hire a bail bondsman.
Typically, you're going to get some sort of a signature bond or a property bond or something else that makes sense for your client.
Sometimes a combination of both signature and property bonds, so you really have to understand how that works and be able to quickly move so that your client can be in the best position to get out of custody.
Sometimes these federal cases take a little while depending on how much evidence there is and how complicated the situation is.
So, if you get your client out, you obviously sit in a much stronger position, and that experience is key.
I've been all over the nation. I've handled cases in different courthouses. I've gone against different prosecutors, up against different judges and law enforcement agents.
I have filed motions all across the country, so I think I have a pretty good feel of how to handle a case when you have a good issue to litigate a federal case and when you should really sit down with the government and negotiate.
You've come to the right place if you're looking for the best federal criminal defense attorney to handle your case.
Pick up the phone. Make the call. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County and we offer a free case evaluation to review the details of your case and legal options.