Federal Criminal Investigation Process
Title 18 Crimes Defended in Houston
Title 18 refers to the code used by the federal government of the United States to deal with federal crimes and the criminal procedures involved in the prosecution of these crimes. Title 18 offenses are filed at the federal level. They often include, but are not limited to, white-collar crimes, such as money laundering, fraud or drug trafficking cases in which state borders or US borders have been crossed in the commission of the crime.
Defending charges at the federal level requires exact knowledge of how the federal courts operate and the rules and procedures used. At Guy L. Womack & Associates, P.C., the federal criminal defense attorneys are very experienced in defending a range of Title 18 crimes in federal courts and are dedicated advocates for the criminally accused.
What is Considered a Title 18 Crime?
Although there are thousands of crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of federal court, most of them can be categorized into the following groups:
- Drug trafficking and manufacturing
- Immigration violations
- Tax violations
- Sex crimes
- Mail and wire fraud, including internet crimes
- Gun violations
- Money laundering
- Hate crimes
- Any crime committed on federal property
Some crimes only violate the statutes of the state in which they are committed, while others are offenses listed under Title 18 and come under federal jurisdiction. As such, crimes can either be prosecuted at the state level, the federal level, or both. When the crime is a federal crime, it is usually being managed or investigated by a federal agency, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the FBI and other federal agencies.
What Is the Criminal Process for Title 18 Cases?
The Title 18 process follows these basic guidelines:
- Investigation. Conducted either by federal authorities or state authorities who then turn the results over to the US Attorney's office
- A person is considered a "target" of an investigation when there is evidence that further discovery could result in an indictment. A person is considered a "subject" in an investigation when evidence indicates he could become a target. Lastly, a person can simply be a potential "witness."
- Evidence is sent to grand jury. When enough evidence is gathered, prosecutor will send the grand jury his proposal for an indictment.
- Grand jury votes of whether to indict or not.
- If they vote yes, formal charges are brought against the defendant and he is arrested.
- Bail may or may not be granted.
- Defendant and his attorney could enter into possible plea negotiations or sentence bargaining.
- Or case goes to trial.
Quality Representation for Title 18 Charges in Houston
Defending a Title 18 offense in federal court requires experience and a working knowledge of defending federal charges. These types of offenses carry with them, in most cases, much harsher penalties than those that are filed in state court. The attorneys at our firm, who are fluent in both English and Spanish, can be trusted to provide the best defense possible.
Contact the firm today for superior representation.
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