Options After a Federal Indictment

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerA federal indictment is a legal document charging someone with a federal crime. The prosecution can only obtain an indictment after arguing their case to a grand jury. The jury then convenes and determines whether or not there is probable cause that the individual committed the crime. If the grand jury determines there is probable cause, an indictment is issued.

Receiving a federal indictment is very stressful and can cause those charged to think the worst as they imagine spending several years in federal prison. However, not every federal indictment ends this way. Those charged with a federal crime do have options, and they should discuss all of them with a federal criminal defense attorney.

Dismissal

This is the best chance a person has at retaining their freedom after receiving a federal indictment. When a case is dismissed in federal court, the charges are dismissed and the case is thrown out of court. According to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 47, when the defense wishes to have a case dismissed, they must file a motion with the court.

In order to obtain a dismissal of the case, the defense must show within their motion that the defendant should not have been charged with the alleged crime, or that their constitutional rights were violated. Obtaining a dismissal is much more difficult in federal court than it is in state court. This is due to the fact that in federal court, a grand jury consisting of 12 people has determined there is probable cause. In a state court, only one judge is convinced of probable cause. The law views the opinions of 12 people as more substantial than the opinion of just one. However, when the prosecution has a weak case, dismissals are still a possibility.

Plea Deal

Under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defense team and the prosecution can strike a plea deal. This is the best option when the defense believes they will not receive a successful verdict at trial. During a plea deal, the defense team will meet with the prosecution and agree to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lesser sentence. Certain sentencing factors, such as enhancements, are often thrown during the negotiation.

It is important for defendants to understand that when a plea deal is made between the prosecution and the defense, the court must approve it. If the court decides not to approve it, the case will go to trial.

Trial

After receiving a federal indictment, many defendants think taking the case to trial is the worst option. This, however, is not always true. A jury made up of 12 people will determine a defendant’s innocence or guilt throughout the course of a trial. This means the prosecution must convince the entire jury of a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When they fail to do so, the jury must find the defendant innocent. Going to trial is often the best chance a defendant has at beating the charges and retaining their freedom.

Review Your Options After a Federal Indictment with a Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Anyone that is indicted on federal charges may think they are out of options. This, however, just is not true. A passionate Chicago federal criminal defense attorney can help. If you have been indicted by a grand jury, contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel at 312-270-0999. We know the many options available, and we will review them all with you to determine which one is right for your specific case. We offer free consultations, so call us today and we can begin discussing your case.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcrmp/rule_47

This entry was posted in Federal Crimes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

225 WEST WASHINGTON STREET, SUITE 2200A, CHICAGO, IL 60606

PHONE: 312-270-0999

FAX: 312-924-0201