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Federal Crimes: Frequently Asked Questions

Houston Federal Crime Defense Law Firm, Guy L. Womack & Associates, P.C.

I am being investigated by a federal agency. What should I do?

It is critical that you exercise your right to remain silent. Call an attorney and get representation immediately. A federal investigation is a very serious matter, and if you are the target of an investigation, you can predict that within a short period of time, you will be arrested.

What are the penalties for federal crimes?

The federal sentencing guidelines allow for very heavy penalties to be imposed upon a person convicted of a federal crime, whether a drug crime, sex crime, weapons crime, white collar crime or other federal offense. There are 43 "levels" of federal offenses. You will also be evaluated on a point system - whether you have a prior record, and points will be added, and your sentence increased. There are 4 "sentencing zones."

These zones range from 0 - 6 months to life in federal prison. There are many crimes that allow the sentencing judge to increase the penalties beyond the federal sentencing guidelines. Hate crimes and crimes against vulnerable victims (children, the elderly or the disabled) or officials and terrorist acts have increased punishments. Other crimes can also have an increased sentence, including abduction, extreme psychological injury, and other factors. There are also factors that could allow for a reduction in a sentence. All of the details of your case must be analyzed on an immediate basis, as the penalties that could be imposed on you are usually much more severe than those imposed in state court.

How do I choose a defense lawyer if I am facing federal charges?

One crucial issue is experience in federal court. Not all law firms or lawyers defend federal charges, or are admitted to practice in federal court. At Guy L. Womack & Associates, P.C. we are admitted to practice in U.S. District Courts in Texas, including the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts.

We are also admitted to practice in many other district courts in the states of Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit, 10th Circuit, 11th Circuit, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the U.S. Supreme Court. We have served as defense counsel in thousands of trials, and have extensive knowledge and experience in the federal justice system. We have the experience that you need to fight federal charges of all kinds. Our founding attorney, Guy Womack, is a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, and has many honors and awards, including three Navy commendation medals.

Can I avoid a conviction?

Our firm is a vigilant protector of the rights of the criminally accused in federal court. You have specific rights under the U.S. Constitution, and we are zealous in protecting those rights. If you have been arrested and charged with a federal crime, the first issue to address is whether you are the victim of a rights violation, in any part of the process. There are many cases in which an individual's rights have been violated.

When these issues are identified, we take immediate action. Whether the issue involves an illegally conducted investigation, illegal search and seizure, a failure to advise the accused of their rights, or other matter, we act immediately. We then move forward in reviewing the evidence that led to your arrest. We have access to the most respected independent investigators for assistance in providing evidence that could assist in your case. We are professional, dedicated, and have an impressive record of success.

Contact our Houston federal criminal defense lawyer for more information and to answer specific questions about defending against federal charges.

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