The U.S. Code has a wide range of criminal offenses, passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. These charges may include matters pertaining to drugs, fraud, money laundering, trafficking, child pornography and more. Charges are heard in federal court.
The entities enforcing these laws typically have many more resources than a local Palm Beach County prosecutor or law enforcement agency would have. They often include complex matters. Your defense attorney must be licensed in the district, and should understand federal procedure and rules of evidence.
At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., our attorneys are both licensed and experienced in the U.S. District of Southern Florida, which includes federal courts in West Palm Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. We are prepared to defend you if you face charges of violating any laws in the United States Code.
Rather than a public defender, you can have a West Palm Beach federal defense lawyer from Meltzer & Bell, P.A. who will be dedicated to you, instead of the massive caseloads these defenders often face. You will have access to one of our partners 24/7 and a team of experienced attorneys, who will work zealously on your behalf. Call us today at (561) 283-3259 to set up a free consultation.
We can represent anyone facing criminal charges in the Southern District of Florida, including at the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in West Palm Beach, the U.S. Federal Building and Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale or any federal court in Miami.
Most criminal charges in the Palm Beach area are for violations of state law. Local police or the Florida Highway Patrol arrest the person, and he or she is tried in state court by the county's State Attorney. If convicted, he or she goes to state jail or faces penalties under Florida law.
Alleged violations of the U.S. Code are typically investigated by agents of the U.S. government. These may include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Arrests for violations of federal law may occur at an airport or other facility managed by the U.S. government.
Charges are tried in federal court. Courthouses are located in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District will prosecute. The prosecution has the weight and the resources of the U.S. government behind it, usually far, far exceeding those of state attorneys in Florida.
Most offenses can be found in Title 18 of U.S. Code, though there are crimes throughout the federal statutes. Generally, criminal accusations may occur in U.S. District Court if the alleged offense took place across state or international borders.
Some common ones include:
If convicted, you face time in federal prison. There are many myths about prisons run by the U.S. government. Many people think it is a "country club." Nothing could be further from the truth. At best, your liberty and privacy will be completely stripped from you. It can also be a dangerous place, populated by high-level criminals.
Many charges in the U.S. Code, including drug trafficking, have mandatory minimum sentences, with long prison terms. For instance, being convicted of possessing more than five kilograms of cocaine will result in a prison sentence of at least 10 years behind bars.
The U.S. government can also seize assets it proves were used in the crime. People convicted can lose millions to asset forfeiture.
Under § 5K1.1 of the Federal Sentencing Manual, the U.S. Attorney may offer a downward departure from sentencing guidelines to a person who offered “substantial assistance” to an investigation or prosecution. It is possible to strike a deal with prosecutors to give a lesser sentence by giving certain information.
It is critical to be well-advised when entering any such agreement with the U.S. Attorney. If the prosecution falls through or the information turns out not to be helpful, you may have gone record with evidence against yourself and lose the chance for a lesser sentence.
Consult a criminal defense attorney before striking any deals with prosecutors.
U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida: The Southern District covers Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, with five courthouses in the region:Paul G. Rogers Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
Federal charges call for a strong, well-prepared defense. At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we are a skilled team that can fight for your rights. You can have an experienced West Palm Beach federal defense lawyer fighting for you in the U.S. Court in the Southern District of Florida, whether in West Palm Beach, Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Call us today at (561) 283-3259 to set up a free consultation.
...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.
I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!
I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.
I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!
Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!