This is the first post in a series which will deal with defending against federal criminal charges in Peoria or elsewhere in Illinois. I feel it is important to write on this topic as many defendants do not understand the extent to which the Federal Court process is different than what one may face in the Illinois state courts. The goal of my coming posts is to provide information which will allow the accused to make an informed decision when selecting a criminal defense attorney to assist them. If you or a loved one are facing charges then it is crucial to contact a lawyer.
I will be addressing several topics over my coming articles. Issues which I will analyze include:
- The differences between Illinois and Federal charges
- Dealing with Federal Court as opposed to a State Court
- Dealing with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
There are multiple reasons why defendants and their loved ones must understand these issues. First, when you face charges in Federal Court this means that you are being prosecuted by the United States government and its vast resources. Second, the Federal Courts have their own laws, rules of procedure, and rules of evidence. This means that the process one will face is different than what they would see in State Court. Finally, the sentencing guidelines of the Federal Court make sentencing different than what is seen in State Court.
It is important to understand that many criminal defense lawyers are not licensed in Federal Court. This means that you will have a smaller number of attorneys to choose from when selecting your representation. When choosing counsel it is important that you select someone who is not only licensed in Federal Court, but who is also experienced in handling such cases. By retaining a lawyer with experience you reduce the chances of your representative being unfamiliar with the differences between the two Court systems.
I am a former prosecutor and am licensed in Federal Court. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.