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Illinois federal criminal defense lawyerIf you have been charged with a federal drug crime, it is crucial to have a skilled Illinois criminal attorney on your side. If convicted of a federal drug crime, you may face serious penalties, such as prison time and heavy fines. A lawyer will help you build a strong defense and protect your legal rights.

When Drug Crimes Become Federal Offenses

Some drug crimes are charged at the state level while others are charged at the federal level. You will likely be charged federally if you commit a drug offense on federal property, such as a national park. You may also be charged federally if you are caught manufacturing or trafficking illegal drugs, especially across state lines.

Types of Federal Drug Crimes

Federal drug crimes come with penalties beyond prison time. If you get convicted of a federal drug crime, you will have a permanent criminal record, making it more difficult to get a job and place to live. Here are several types of federal drug crimes:

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Illinois federal criminal defense lawyerThe United States has a long and complicated history with drugs. In the 1800s, many drugs that are illegal today were available to most individuals who wanted them. Cocaine, heroin, opium, and cannabis were widely sold and were sometimes even marketed as health remedies. By the late 1800s, several states began to pass laws banning the sale and use of cocaine and opium, and by the early 1900s, the first federal law relating to drug use and possession was passed, highly regulating the legal narcotic industry and creating law enforcement that today is known as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In today’s world, the DEA is best known for enforcing federal drug laws and prosecuting those who sell or traffic drugs across state lines, along with other federal drug offenses.

Sentencing Guidelines for Federal Drug Crimes

Many federal drug crimes have minimum sentences that are required to be imposed if the person is convicted. These guidelines were put into place during the 1980s when the Reagan administration declared the “War on Drugs,” but many studies have shown that these minimum sentences do not actually reduce the amount of drug crime or the rate of recidivism of those who have been convicted. Nevertheless, these minimum sentences still exist today. If you are convicted of federal drug manufacturing or trafficking, you could face the following consequences:

Minimum Five-Year Sentence With a Maximum 40-Year Sentence For Trafficking:

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Illinois federal criminal defense lawyerHomebuyers in the United States have had a difficult time navigating the housing market lately, due to financial constraints related to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased competition driven by low interest rates. While homeownership is a dream for many people, it can be difficult to achieve, especially at a time like now. Some people may be tempted to obtain a mortgage through underhanded means, or prey on those who are struggling, but it is important to know that mortgage fraud is a serious crime that is typically prosecuted at the federal level and that can carry significant penalties.

Understanding Types of Mortgage Fraud

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), mortgage fraud is a type of financial institution fraud that involves some sort of misstatement, omission, or misrepresentation on a mortgage loan application or agreement for the purposes of misleading a bank or lender. Mortgage fraud can include actions taken by borrowers to obtain a place of residence or by lenders to make money. Common types of mortgage fraud include:

  • Foreclosure rescue or loan modification schemes: In some mortgage fraud cases, the perpetrator preys on homeowners who are close to foreclosure or who are already in the foreclosure process by either offering to save their home by transferring the deed to an investor while the homeowner’s finances improve, or by offering to renegotiate loan terms for the homeowner. Instead of helping, the perpetrator pockets the money that they make off of selling the home to the investor, or by collecting fees or other costs from the homeowner for allegedly negotiating new loan terms.

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal sex crime defense attorneyThe issue is not new and is, in fact, as old as the internet itself,  but sexually-based crimes committed on the internet have garnered more professional and social attention as of late. The most notorious internet sex crimes—and the most commonly perpetrated—are the production and dissemination of child pornography. There are, however, many other types of online sex crimes as well.

For example, soliciting chats of a sexual nature from any vulnerable person, including a child or anyone who is unable to make the decision for him or herself, is considered an Internet crime. Inappropriate solicitation can take the form of asking the person to send a sexual photo of him or herself, or asking a minor to meet somewhere with sexual intentions.

The Prevalence of Online Sex Crimes

Statistics show that these types of crimes have steadily increased in recent years with the proliferation of the internet and as more and more teens spend increasing hours online. At least 13 percent of internet users under the age of 18 have reported having been the subject of unwanted sexual solicitations online, and 9 percent have found distressing sexual material while browsing the web.

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Illinois federal crime defense attorneyIn any criminal case—including a federal criminal case—the prosecutors bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the defendant has committed the crime in question. But, what does it mean to prove the defendant’s guilt? The standard of proof in a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which means that the jury or the judge must believe “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the suspect did what prosecutors say he or she did. The tricky part of this standard, however, is defining reasonable doubt.

Defining Reasonable Doubt

Depending on the case in question, prosecutors may attempt to explain to jurors what reasonable doubt means. Defense attorneys sometimes present a definition of their own, as well. For example, a prosecuting attorney in California once compared the standard to a puzzle that is missing a single piece, suggesting that even with a missing piece, it was still clear what the puzzle showed. The case resulted in a conviction that was later overturned on appeal because by attempting to define reasonable doubt, the prosecutor effectively told jurors they could convict the defendant based on incomplete information.

For reasons like this, the parties in a criminal case are generally not encouraged to offer their own definitions of reasonable doubt. The same is true if the judge is not careful about explaining reasonable doubt to the jurors.

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