The Federal Criminal Process

North Carolina Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina, you are either facing misdemeanor or felony state charges or federal charges. The federal criminal process is somewhat different than the North Carolina criminal process. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure apply, rather than North Carolina criminal law. You will appear in and be tried, if your case goes to trial, in a North Carolina Federal District Court rather than a state or county court.

A federal criminal defense lawyer from Roberts Law Group, PLLC, can answer any questions you have about the federal criminal process. If you or a loved one are facing federal criminal charges for drug charges, sex offenses, white collar crimes, Medicare fraud, conspiracy or weapons charges, contact our firm's Raleigh office at 866-630-2389 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced federal trial lawyer at Roberts Law Group.

The Beginning Of A Federal Criminal Case

Often, a federal agency will begin an investigation and may even question you about suspected criminal activity before you are arrested for a federal offense. Do not wait until you are arrested to contact an attorney if you know you are being investigated by any of the following:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
  • U.S. Treasury
  • Secret Service
  • Any other federal agency

When enough evidence is gathered to charge you with committing a federal felony, the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that a federal grand jury review the evidence against you. If the grand jury finds that the evidence does tend to show that you committed the felony you are accused of, it will return a federal indictment. An indictment is a federal charging document; orders for arrest after indictment will typically follow.

After you are arrested, you will be read the charges against you at an arraignment and will be asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest to the charges against you.

  • If you plead not guilty, your federal defense attorney will begin preparing your case for trial while also negotiating with the federal prosecutor for a potentially favorable plea bargain.
  • If you plead guilty or no contest, or are later convicted at trial, your case will proceed to sentencing.

Federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines apply to convictions for federal crimes. A guilty plea is treated the same as a conviction, although your federal defense lawyer may be able to negotiate a lesser sentence in exchange for your plea.

You Have One Call — Make It Roberts Law Group, PLLC

The federal process is complex and experience matters in federal court. If you or a loved one are being investigated or have been indicted for a federal offense, contact Roberts Law Group, PLLC online or toll free at 866-630-2389 to schedule a meeting with an experienced federal defense lawyer at our Raleigh office today.

U.S. vs. J.R.
Charge: Mail Fraud (9 Counts), Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
Facing: Three years in prison
Result: One year, One day

Our client was convicted of nine counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The government alleged that our client fraudulently obtained more than $115,000 from her former employer. At the sentencing hearing, the Judge granted our motion for a downward departure, sentencing our client to one year and one day. The government had asked the judge to sentence our client to several years.