Federal District Judges Are Powerful Indeed

Drug trafficking, child pornography, and terrorism charges are the three most harshly punished crimes in the federal criminal system. If you’ve been accused of any of these crimes, you should consult with a Raleigh federal lawyer, Raleigh federal criminal lawyer, Raleigh criminal lawyer, or North Carolina criminal lawyer as soon as possible. You can call (919) 352-9411 for a free consultation.

The federal system has a couple of features that make it necessary to hire an aggressive, professional, and experienced criminal lawyer. First, federal judges are not constrained by the plea bargains that have been worked out between the defense and the United States Attorney.

So, for instance, if a Raleigh criminal defendant and the United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of North Carolina work out an agreement as to a specific sentence, a federal district judge is not obligated to follow that agreement. Consequently, all federal plea agreements are open-ended as to punishment within the federal sentencing system.

A skilled Raleigh defense attorney is able to negotiate certain statements of fact in the plea agreement, as to weights of drugs found, number of images of child pornography identified, or the nature of the crime specific elements associated with a terrorism charge. Those facts will constrain a federal district court judge. And, so, a Raleigh federal lawyer can limit your exposure through a carefully negotiated plea agreement.

It’s sometimes said by Raleigh defense lawyers that the only thing they fear more than God is a federal district judge. That’s because a federal district judge has such power to accept or reject, or sentence within some very harsh federal penalties.

Here’s the thing you should keep in mind. If you’ve been accused of a crime by the federal government, you should hire an attorney who not only can try the case if it can be tried successfully before a jury, but can negotiate the best possible sentence, if trying the case would result in a worse outcome.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.