What's at Stake

A Conviction on Federal Charges Means Prison Time

You know what's at stake if you have been indicted on federal charges. In most cases, a conviction means prison time.

The question is: how much?

There are other potential consequences of a conviction, including:

  • Substantial punitive fines
  • Restitution (paying back funds gained through fraud and other business crimes)
  • Loss of voting rights
  • A ban on firearms possession
  • Public sex offender registration (in sex offense cases)
  • A criminal record that will affect personal and career prospects

This is by no means a complete list of potential consequences, but is indicative of what's at stake when you've been charged with a federal offense.

If you're facing federal charges, getting a lawyer involved as soon as possible can mean the difference between months or years in your prison sentence. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, federal defense attorney Patrick Roberts consults with clients across the country. Call 800-760-9071 or use our online form to request a consultation.

Will You Get Months or Years?

Criminal sentencing in the federal justice system is based on sentencing guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. These guidelines allow the calculation of a sentencing range based on the offense, aggravating or mitigating factors, and your prior criminal history.

Many drug-related crimes, particularly drug trafficking or possession of a weapon while committing a drug crime, will trigger application of mandatory minimum sentences in federal court. A federal misdemeanor conviction may put you behind bars for up to a year. An offense that is punishable by more than a year in prison is considered a felony.

Learn more about the federal sentencing process.

Very few criminal cases actually go to trial. A vast majority of defendants will reach a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. What is favorable in one case involving certain facts and circumstances may not be favorable in another case with different facts and circumstances.

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.