What Is a Federal Criminal
Lawyer, and When Do You
Need One?

When facing accusations of committing a crime that breaks the United States’ laws, you will need an experienced federal criminal lawyer to help you avoid steep fines or prison time.
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What Is a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you are being charged by federal authorities, it’s in your best interest to hire a federal lawyer as quickly as possible. Perhaps you made a mistake that you regret or perhaps merely got caught up in the misdeeds of another. Maybe you did not participate in criminal behavior or participated unwittingly.

Whatever the reason you are being accused of a federal crime or white-collar crime, you should not attempt to handle your defense yourself. The federal criminal law is complicated, and criminal defense lawyers with experience at the federal level are best equipped to present a winning argument.

Attorney Jay P. Mykytiuk of Scrofano Law PC is a Virginia and Washington DC criminal defense lawyer with experience defending white-collar criminals, along with other federal offenses.


What Does a Federal Defense Attorney Do?

If you have been accused of a federal crime, your case will be heard at a Federal District Court and overseen by a United States District Judge or a Federal Magistrate Judge. Cases decided by the district court can later be appealed in a United States Court of Appeals, located at a Circuit Court.

Federal criminal cases are characteristic because potential sentences for most cases are outlined in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The criminal history of the individual who was accused of committing the crime and the seriousness of the offense are taken into consideration in sentencing guidelines.

While these sentencing guidelines establish minimum and maximum time of potential prison sentence for federal crimes, they are not binding. A federal judge may choose to depart from the guidelines when determining the penalty.

However, certain offenses carry mandatory minimum penalties that can result in a lengthy sentence in federal prison.

Criminal cases heard at this level are typically very serious. A federal defense attorney can explain your options and prepare your best possible defense. They can also advise on whether or not to pursue an appeal, and how best to go about doing it.

There are considerable distinctions between dealing with charges in state and federal court, so if you are facing a federal crime, you want an attorney with federal experience. Jay P. Mykitiuk is a Virginia and D.C. criminal defense attorney with a track record in the federal court system. He and the Scrofano law team can help you defend your rights during any federal cases.


Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

A federal criminal defense attorney can provide advice and represent you in court if you are accused of a federal crime in Washington DC. Most white-collar crimes are tried at the federal level, but other crimes heard in these courts include:

  • Computer crimes
  • Counterfeiting
  • Drug trafficking
  • Federal drug offenses
  • Federal sex crimes
  • Money laundering
  • Treason
  • Violation of interstate commerce
  • Violation of security laws
  • Violent crimes
  • Weapons charges
  • White-collar federal crimes

If you are arrested for any of these crimes, be sure you are aware of what not to do when arrested in the District of Columbia.

After an arrest, the defendant will likely be arraigned. That is when you’ll learn what federal law charges you will be up against. If no plea agreement is reached with the federal prosecutor, the trial date will be set.

The federal criminal process can be confusing and frightening, especially for those who have no experience with the federal criminal justice system. Our federal defense lawyers are familiar with the whole process, judges, and the federal courts, and we will strive to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

Why Might You Need a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Federal crimes occur when an individual violates federal law or commits a crime on federal property, while state criminal cases deal with individuals who violated state laws.

Thus, a federal criminal investigation is much different than an investigation and cases handled before state courts. For example, law enforcement agencies that investigate federal crimes have highly skilled investigators and agents responsible for conducting federal investigations.

Those facing federal criminal charges should be aware of the fact that federal criminal investigations last for months and even longer before criminal charges are even filed. That also means federal criminal defense lawyers have a lot of catching up to do when hired to defend charged individuals.

Since the federal government and federal prosecutors who are conducting federal criminal trials have practically unlimited resources to pursue a case, hiring a federal defense lawyer is necessary for creating a defense strategy focused on protecting your rights and overcoming the allegations.

If you are arrested for any of the offenses listed above or even suspect that you are under investigation, you most likely need a federal criminal defense lawyer.

Your federal case or the investigation can continue rapidly, and a lawyer will be able to advise you what to do and not to do in order to have the best chance at avoiding hefty federal criminal penalties. Quick intervention by a legal professional can be vital to your freedom.


A Federal Criminal Attorney Can Help

Among the primary goals of a federal attorney is to help you avoid or reduce the following penalties:

  • Federal jail time
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Restitution

To learn more about how to set yourself up for success, even in the face of federal charges, check out this article on your right to remain silent.

Working with Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

DC Federal Criminal Lawyers will provide skilled legal representation if you have been accused of a white-collar crime or various other crimes at the federal level.


How Much Does a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost?

If you are wondering how much a federal criminal defense lawyer costs, it depends on the expense of various things, such as:

  • Capability
  • Credentials
  • Experience

The particulars of the case like whether it is your first offense and how complex the case is will also affect the expense.


Defending Federal Criminal Cases

When you are dealing with a federal criminal case, an attorney in Washington DC will develop and perform a custom-tailored defense technique to help you avoid the possibility of a conviction at trial.

At Scrofano Law PC, we work hard to level the playing field when it feels like it’s you against the world. Call 703-783-5740 or contact attorney Jay P. Mykitiuk via our online form today to schedule a confidential case assessment and discover how we can make justice work for you rather than against you.


We fight for your rights!

Kyla Lee

Gretchen has all the skills to get the job done - former prosecutor, serious jury trial experience, and compassion and skill for days. I would not hesitate to hire her as my lawyer.

Rebecca G

If I could give her 100 stars I would. I put my complete trust in her, and she did not let me down. Her results exceeded my expectations. You need this woman on your side if you ever find yourself in trouble.

Ruby Branscomb

10 years ago, Gretchen Taylor saved my life. I was facing a serious, felony drug charge that was based on nothing besides the text messages of a former friend and other hearsay. I was 19 at the time, uneducated and uninformed of my rights, and terrified at what was unfolding.

I secured the services of an attorney who proved to be utterly useless, barely lifted a finger for my case, and encouraged me to cooperate with FCPD to ensnare some other equally young and dumb target into similar charges.

Gretchen immediately realized that my previous attorney had never even filed a motion for discovery (so that he could see what evidence the state held against me), which baffled her.
Adding to her surprise more was that there was quite literally nothing in the discovery file — the state had no physical evidence against me and used my ignorance of the system against me, hoping to coerce a confession from me and helping them with an investigation that was very far removed from my current lifestyle.

After being in court with my old lawyer, over 3 times and having the case continued for almost 2 years, I was not expecting the outcome Gretchen Taylor was able to produce for me in our very first court date together.

She asked for the case to be dismissed against me, due to the lack of evidence she found in her motion for discovery. The judge agreed, and a nolle plead was entered; the charges were essentially dropped.

Gretchen is an honorable, ethical and kind woman who drastically altered the course of my life by simply doing her job. I would recommend her as an attorney, especially those who have cases in Fairfax County.

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