When federal agents and prosecutors target an individual or business for criminal prosecution, our lawyers are able to quickly begin to marshal the facts and applicable law so that we can mount the best defense possible. We are federal criminal trial lawyers with extensive courtroom experience and a record of success. And, although the vast majority of federal cases are resolved without jury trials, we know, through experience, how a case might play out. We handle cases in all of North Carolina’s federal district courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a target letter?
A. A target letter is letter that a federal prosecutor sends to someone who is suspected of committing a federal crime. The letter typically informs the recipient (ie, the target) that he or she is under criminal investigation, and asks the target to get in touch with the prosecutor or a particular investigating agent. It also might advise the recipient that he or she will be called to testify before a federal grand jury. Read more about a federal target letter here.
Q. What is a federal indictment?
A. A federal indictment is a formal accusation that a person or business has committed a federal crime. The indictment is “returned” by a grand jury, which consists of 16 to 23 citizens who meet in secret to hear testimony and review evidence presented by the prosecution. Although someone suspected of a crime may be called to testify before the grand jury, a suspect does not have an opportunity to present exculpatory evidence. The grand jury will return an indictment if it determines that probable cause exists that a crime has been committed and the alleged suspect committed the crime. This standard is substantially lower than the “proof beyond reasonable doubt” standard that applies at trial.
- Dismissal of federal drug trafficking indictment after filing motion to suppress. The client faced 10 years to life imprisonment and walked out of custody a free man.
- Dismissal of opioid trafficking indictment after entry of not guilty plea but prior to trial. The client faced up to 20 years imprisonment.
- Victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, declaring “crime of violence” definition in 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(B) unconstitutional; as a result conviction of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence reversed.
- Hung jury following weeklong federal drug trafficking trial.
- Not guilty verdict on federal manufacture of child pornography charge (conviction on remaining count of sex trafficking).
DISCLAIMER: Every case is different, and prior outcomes do not guarantee future results. A number of factors impact the outcome of any particular case.