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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal criminal defense attorneyLife imprisonment without the possibility of parole is all but the worst-case scenario for those charged with a serious federal crime. Some may even say that they fear spending the rest of their life in prison more than they fear the death penalty. Fortunately, these sentences are strikingly rare. Less than 0.5% of federal inmates are serving a life sentence. This harsh punishment is typically reserved for the most serious offenders, convicted of major felonies. 

If you are facing serious federal charges, your best bet is to find a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer with experience in the federal courts who can fight to avoid a conviction in the first place. 

Which Convictions Can Lead to a Life Sentence?

There are some crimes, like multiple homicides, that you might expect a life sentence to result from. Others may surprise you. Federal felonies that could land you in prison for life include: 

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal criminal defense lawyerYou almost certainly do not want to go to any type of prison. Naturally, the most desirable outcomes are having your case dismissed or being found not guilty, followed by some type of probation that does not involve incarceration. In many cases, a skilled attorney can work with the prosecution to achieve a resolution that does not involve you wearing an orange jumpsuit. In other cases, a prison sentence is nearly inevitable, and your attorney may recommend defense strategies aimed at reducing the length of a sentence - or advocating for you to serve your time in a lower security prison. 

If you are worried that your federal criminal case may end in a prison sentence, you may want to know more about the different types of federal prisons, and which one you could be sent to. If prison is a possibility based on your charges, you will need to work closely with an experienced attorney. 

What Are the Five Security Levels of Federal Prisons?

A number of factors go into deciding which type of prison a convicted person should be sent to. The type of offense and your criminal history are important factors, but other factors like your physical and mental health can be considered. The security levels are: 

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_438352297.jpgBeing charged with a hate crime puts you in a very difficult position. If you are accused of committing a crime based on prejudice against the victim, you are likely to be branded a bigot. That image can be difficult to shake, especially since alleged hate crimes are often publicized. On top of a lengthy prison sentence, you could have to deal with permanent social repercussions. Sometimes, people are surprised to learn that they have been charged with a hate crime based on their choice of victim - it can be difficult for prosecutors to discern whether the crime was motivated by hate or by something else. 

If you have been accused of a hate crime, it is important to tread carefully. Your best bet is to immediately contact a federal crimes lawyer and follow his advice. 

When is a Crime Considered a Hate Crime?

Most offenses that involve a victim could potentially be charged as a hate crime. “Hate crime” is not an offense in and of itself - it is a sort of enhancement that is added onto another crime. So, for a hate crime to be charged, there must first be a crime of some type. Assaults and criminal damage to property are common examples. Then, the crime must be motivated by hate towards a particular group of people. The requisite hate can be directed towards the victim based on their: 

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1066860836-1.jpgMost federal crimes related to immigration are committed by people trying to bypass immigration laws and remain in the country illegally or help someone else do so. Immigration services fraud is different - it is a crime committed against immigrants who are generally attempting to comply with the law. Immigration services fraud occurs when someone fraudulently claims to be able to provide services such as expedited work permits for immigrants. 

When this is done with the intent to defraud immigrants, federal fraud charges are likely. Unfortunately, people trying to lawfully immigrate sometimes face charges after being taken advantage of in one of these schemes. If you are in either situation, it is important that you take prompt steps to protect yourself, starting with calling a lawyer. 

How Does Immigration Services Fraud Work?

Legal immigrants may not always have an easy time staying in compliance. Work permits and visas must be kept current, and there is a lot of documentation to keep track of. The process of applying for any form of legal residency can take a long time and become frustrating. This is when fraudulent immigration services schemes come in. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_506693812.jpgEver since the internet became commonplace, a surprising amount of crime has moved online. Many people erroneously feel that it is “safer” to engage in criminal activity from the comfort of their own computer chair. Some federal crimes, like child pornography and certain types of fraud, are now almost exclusively committed over the internet. However, since the pandemic began and more people were kept home, new and different types of federal crimes have found space in the virtual sphere. 

The FBI is now making a push to crack down on cybercrime. If you were caught in a recent bust of some type or found yourself under arrest over an online activity, you must take steps to protect yourself immediately. Contacting a skilled federal crimes attorney is a good start. 

Which Federal Crimes Are Now Committed Over the Internet?

Many people accused of internet-based crimes are surprised to learn that they are being charged federally instead of at the state level. The reason for this is that when you use the internet to do something illegal, you are almost certainly “touching” another state or interstate commerce in some way. This can push you into federal jurisdiction and up the seriousness of your situation tenfold. 

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