Sometimes, an individual will know that they are being investigated by the federal government prior to an indictment. If you receive a target letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, do not ignore it. A target letter is usually sent out to suspects who are soon to be indicted. If a federal agent (or any member of law enforcement) contacts you, or wants to discuss your involvement in any situation, whether you think it involves a crime or not, contact Joe Viacava.
Federal court is a completely different system than state court. The sentence is calculated, and ultimately decided, by a complicated guideline formula that takes into account the severity of the crime the defendant has been convicted of, and the defendant’s prior criminal history.
It is imperative that you have an attorney who is well versed in this system, who can guide and properly advise you through the arduous, and sometimes perilous, federal system.
Cases move to conclusion much faster than in state court, and a very limited time is afforded to the accused to make the crucial decisions necessary to a successful outcome. If not handled correctly, additional and unnecessary years in a federal prison can be the unfortunate result.