Defense Attorneys in Dallas BRODEN & MICKELSEN LLP | Federal Cases, State Cases & Criminal Appeals

Federal Criminal Defense

Federal cases are complicated, with difficult to understand federal sentencing guidelines, strict deadlines and more written pleadings than are usually required when defending a case in state court. Federal criminal defense cases require additional expertise and years of experience on the part of an attorney. Consequently, it’s imperative that anyone charged with a federal crime engage an attorney who has tried cases in federal court. Broden & Mickelsen have handled hundreds of Federal criminal cases, not only in Dallas and other cities in Texas, but in Federal courts around the United States.

Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen are experienced federal criminal defense attorneys based in Dallas Texas, who have 60 years of combined experience defending cases in federal court. Indeed, despite the fact that the conviction rate in Federal court is approximately 90-95%, the two partners have won approximately a third of their Federal cases at trial.

Broden & Mickelsen have represented defendants charged with virtually every kind of Federal case.

Expertise in Federal Fraud Cases by Broden & Mickelsen Dallas White Collar Defense Lawyers 

Federal white-collar criminal investigations encompass a wide variety of alleged crimes, but most involve some allegation of fraud. In such cases it is important not to simply hire any criminal defense attorney. One should hire a lawyer that specializes in federal criminal defense. Broden & Mickelsen are experienced federal criminal defense attorneys based in Dallas, Texas, who frequently defend individuals accused of federal fraud crimes.

Mail and wire fraud is alleged in many federal fraud cases. For wire fraud….

If the victim of a fraudulent scheme was a bank, then one is likely to be prosecuted for bank fraud. Many mortgage fraud cases are prosecuted under the bank fraud statutes.

Although, it is less common, occasionally fraud cases are brought against environmental laboratories for failing to adequately test samples brought to them by the government. In addition, industrial polluters, in egregious cases, are sometimes prosecuted.

Very recently the government has focused its anti-fraud efforts on prosecuting people who allegedly have used money they received pursuant to the CARES ACT (Covid 19 government assistance) improperly.

Broden and Mickelsen have represented hundreds of individuals charge with Federal fraud crimes and have achieved extraordinary results. With this wealth of experience Broden & Mickelsen has a clear understanding of the process of successfully defending someone charged with Federal fraud charges.

  • Former Texas Instruments employee was charged with stealing trade secrets for the benefit of a Chinese company in a multi-count indictment Dallas. The jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY verdict on all counts.
  • Client from being charged with disability fraud in Federal court. The client was facing lengthy prison time under the federal sentencing guidelines, but due to the extenuating circumstances the Judge declined to impose a guideline sentence and placed him on probation.
  • A prominent Dallas business executive was charged in a complex case involving allegations of financial fraud of over $6 million. After a week-long trial in Dallas he was found NOT GUILTY.
  • A Dallas jury found a client NOT GUILTY of multiple counts of alleged environmental laboratory fraud.
  • A Dallas found a client charged with passing counterfeit money at the Galleria Mall NOT GUILTY.
  • A jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas NOT GUILTY verdicts on all 79 counts of a multi-defendant environmental lab fraud case. The case was tried by Mick Mickelsen and other prominent Dallas attorneys.
  • On October 13, 2010, a jury in the United States District Court for the Nothern District of Texas returned a NOT GUILTY verdict in a tax fraud case in which a client was charged with two of his brothers of filing 27 false corporate tax returns.
  • A jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas found a client charged with passing counterfeit money at the Galleria Mall NOT GUILTY.

FEDERAL HEALTHCARE FRAUD CASES

The federal government is targeting healthcare professionals for prosecution, and many United States Attorney’s offices have prosecutors dedicated solely to prosecuting healthcare fraud. Moreover, this focus has led to an increase in investigative agents investigating healthcare fraud claims and the need for these agents to justify their existence. Meanwhile, even being investigated or charged with healthcare fraud can be disastrous for a healthcare professional. Even without a conviction, it can affect the provider’s license as well as his or her ability to accept Medicare/Medicaid. The laws concerning Federal healthcare fraud are extraordinarily complex. Consequently, any healthcare practitioner should contact a federal criminal defense lawyer if they learn they are being investigated for healthcare fraud. Broden & Mickelsen have a proven track record of successfully defending clients facing Federal healthcare fraud charges.

  • A doctor charged with Medicare fraud who faced a prison sentence and loss of his medical license. Shortly before trial, Broden & Mickelsen negotiated a settlement where the client was place on pretrial diversion without any conviction or damage to his license.

Learn More: INTRODUCTION TO HEALTHCARE FRAUD LAW

FEDERAL TAX FRAUD CASES

The IRS investigates all types of tax errors including both innocent mistakes and tax returns that are intentionally fraudulent. There is a range of tax-related offenses that the IRS looks at including everything from failure to file taxes to falsifying or omitting information.

Tax evasion is the deliberate underpayment of taxes, including failure to pay altogether. Tax evasion might include transferring or hiding assets for the purpose of having a lower tax liability. In a way, tax evasion can be viewed as a subcategory of a broader category of tax-related crimes known as tax fraud.

Tax fraud occurs when a taxpayer fails to provide accurate and complete information to the IRS with a deceptive intent to minimize their tax liability. Tax fraud may include falsifying or underreporting income or overstating deductions.

When the IRS conducts an investigation or audit, it isn’t necessarily looking to throw someone in prison for the offense. The IRS understands that honest mistakes do happen and that, in some cases, a lack of financial resources to pay a tax debt are often what’s behind the discrepancies they uncover.

When falsifying a tax return creates a situation where the taxpayer owes a relatively small amount of money to the IRS, they will typically be given the opportunity to rectify the situation and be required to pay additional fines.

Simply failing to file a return can result in one year of jail time for each tax year that a return wasn’t filed. However, the IRS is more likely to work with you to put together a payment plan to settle your tax debt in this situation.

If filing a false tax returns leads to charges of tax evasion, the penalties are more severe than simply failing to file. Intentional tax evasion carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. If you have become involved in helping another individual evade taxes, such as knowingly and intentionally helping them hide assets, you can also find yourself facing a possible prison term of 3 to 5 years.

  • A Dallas jury returned a NOT GUILTY verdict in a tax fraud case in which a client was charged with two of his brothers of filing 27 false corporate tax returns.

FEDERAL COMPUTER CRIMES 

Increasingly, the State and Federal Courts are charging individuals with crimes that pertain to the internet. Many fraud crimes now alleged make use of the internet, and it is not unusual to be charged in Federal court with the allegation of “hacking” into computer systems.

Not only do offenses involving the internet raise many complicated legal issues, they usually raise numerous complicated technical issues. In addition, in Federal court there are often enhanced penalties if the internet is alleged to have been employed in the commission of the crime. Broden & Mickelsen Dallas Internet criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended several clients charged with Federal computer crimes at trial.

  • Client was charged with computer sabotage in Sherman, Texas. The jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY of all counts by the jury.
  • Another client was charged with computer sabotage in Fort Worth. The jury found the client NOT GUILTY on all counts.

FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASES

The Federal government is devoting an enormous amount of its law enforcement resources to prosecute child pornography cases. These cases will always garner political support and funding and, as a result, we are seeing many of these types of prosecutions around the country.  Many of the recent cases involve various file sharing programs.

In Federal court child pornography cases are typically generated by means of an undercover law enforcement officer making use of file-sharing programs searching the files of other users of with typical queries that yield child pornography. Once the undercover officer identifies a file-sharing user in possession of child pornography on his or her computer, the law enforcement agents execute a search warrant on the user’s house (located by obtaining IP data from the person’s internet provider), in the early morning hours. In order to preclude the defense “I didn’t know that material was on my computer,” the agents interview the suspected primary user of the computer while that user is not under arrest and coax the user to admit to knowingly possessing the child pornography. The lawyers at Broden & Mickelsen understand the process of defending someone facing these charges in Federal court.

The Federal penalties for possession of child pornography are incredibly harsh. If the defendant truly was interested in child pornography the defendant usually has collected numerous images. In these circumstances the defendant’s presumptive sentence, according the United States Sentencing Guideline for a first-time offender, can approach 12-20 years of imprisonment. If Broden & Mickelsen cannot win one of these cases on the issue of guilt and innocence, nevertheless, we will zealously defend our client through sentencing , and have a proven track record of successfully reducing our client’s sentences in these cases.

FEDERAL DRUG TRAFFICKING CASES

The penalties facing persons charged with drug trafficking in federal court can be astonishing. For example, a defendant, without any criminal record, may face a minimum of ten years in federal prison based upon drug charges. Many times, the reality is that they are facing much harsher sentences in the range of thirty years to life. Also, unlike defendants facing charges in state court and state prison, persons serving time in federal prison must serve eighty-five percent of their sentence.

It is important for those charged with drug related crimes to hire an experienced Federal criminal defense attorney who will begin to work at once in order to conduct a full investigation and decide how to successfully defend the case. If a guilty plea is inevitable, Broden & Mickelsen will work diligently to secure a favorable plea bargain that does not call for a mandatory minimum sentence. Broden & Mickelsen has successfully represented numerous individuals at trial or through the sentencing process who were facing Federal drug trafficking charges.

  • A client with three prior federal drug convictions who was facing 22-27 years imprisonment for being a career criminal was found NOT GUILTY by a Midland jury of a new drug charge after a three-day trial.
  • A District Judge in the Southern District of Florida, after the filing of a” Hyde Amendment Motion” by Broden & Mickelsen, found that the government’s prosecution of the defendant had been in bad faith and ordered the government to pay all attorney fees and costs incurred by the defendant. This is one of only a handful of Hyde Amendment motions that have ever been granted.
  • A client who was charged with distributing large amounts of marijuana was found NOT GUILTY by a jury in Dallas after our investigation proved that the client was not in Dallas during the times the government claimed he was distributing marijuana.
  • A United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida dismissed a federal drug case involving large amounts of cocaine on the second day of trial because of the government’s discovery violations. The client, who had previously been represented by ten different lawyers, was released after spending over seven years in prison.

Learn More: Defending a Federal Drug Case

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FORFEITURE CASES

Often clients are charged with Federal criminal offenses and have valuable property seized. In other instances, the Federal government simply seizes property or cash from someone suspected of some involvement in crime. Broden & Mickelsen has extensive experience not only representing defendants charged with crimes in Federal court but also contesting these seizures in causing the government to return some, if not all, the money seized.

  • Client had $300,000 cash seized while driving in West Texas. District Attorney returned 100% of seized funds.
  • Client had $68,000 cash seized during search of home. U.S. Attorney’s Office returned 100% of funds.

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Being Charged With a Federal Crime

How long will it take to resolve my case if I am charged with an offense in federal court?

Unlike state court, criminal cases tend to progress quickly in federal court. Generally, the Speedy Trial Act requires that an indictment must be sought within thirty days of a person’s arrest. Similarly, although there are exceptions for complex cases and cases requiring pretrial motions, the Speedy Trial Act requires that a case be tried seventy days from either the date a person is arrested or the date an indictment is returned against the person, whichever is later.

What are some of my important rights in federal court?

  • You have a right to refuse to make any statements. If you have a lawyer, never make a statement to anybody without talking to your lawyer first.
  • If you are charged with a felony, you have a right to have your case presented to a grand jury where a group of citizens vote as to whether there is probable cause you committed the crime charged. If you are arrested for a felony offense before an indictment is returned, you have a right to a “preliminary hearing” where a magistrate judge determines if there is probable cause you committed the crime charged.
  • You have a right to be represented by an attorney and to have an attorney appointed by the court if you can show that you are unable to hire an attorney.
  • You have a right to a detention hearing if the government seeks to keep you in jail pending your trial.
  • You have a right to discover the evidence against you.
  • You have a right to have the government prove any charge against you “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard is the highest standard of proof that exists in the American justice system.
  • You have a right to a speedy jury trial. Unlike in state court, a jury in federal court only decides the issue of guilt and innocence, not the sentence.
  • If there is a trial, you have a right to testify at the trial. On the other hand, you cannot be forced to testify and, if you chose not to testify, that fact cannot be used against you.
  • You have a right to use subpoenas to make witnesses come to court and testify on your behalf at any trial.
  • You have a right, if there is a trial, to have your lawyer cross examine the government’s witnesses.
  • You have a right to appeal your case and, if you cannot afford a lawyer, you have a right to an appointed lawyer on appeal.

How do the sentencing guidelines work in federal court? Am I eligible for probation?

The federal sentencing guidelines are very complex and is one of the primary reasons that you need a lawyer very experienced in Federal criminal defense if you are charged with a crime in federal court.

The sentencing guidelines calculate prison sentences using a table that takes into account, among other things: your criminal history, all of your criminal conduct, whether you accepted responsibility for the charges against you, and your role in the offense. The sentencing guidelines also determine if you are eligible for probation or home confinement (usually only those with no criminal history or a minor criminal history qualify for probation or home confinement). Generally speaking, a judge will give strong considerations to these guidelines while imposing a sentence.

In some circumstances, the judge can “depart” or “vary” upward or downward from the sentencing guidelines in a particular case. Downward departures are most frequent in cases in which a defendant cooperates with the government by giving information regarding other people. Again, it is important to retain a lawyer who works with the federal sentencing guidelines on a daily basis and is familiar with how the guidelines are applied and the exceptions to the guidelines.

I am charged with a drug offense in federal court and have heard that there are severe penalties for drug cases in federal court, is that true?

Yes, this is very true. Most drug cases involve not only the sentencing guidelines, which are quite harsh in drug cases, but also involve mandatory minimum sentences which are determined by the amount of drugs involved. Moreover, a defendant can be held accountable for drugs possessed by another person simply if the defendant and the other person engaged in “joint criminal activity” and the other drugs were “foreseeable” to the defendant. Sentences are particularly harsh in cases involving crack cocaine. For example, if it is found that a defendant, with no criminal history, possessed with the intent to distribute 280 grams of crack (or even if only part of the 280 grams was possessed by the defendant and the rest was possessed by a coconspirator and “foreseeable” to the defendant), the defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison.

I have been offered a plea bargain instead of going to trial in federal court, should I accept the plea bargain?

It is impossible to provide a general answer to this question, although most cases are generally resolved through a plea bargain. In deciding whether to accept the plea bargain, the two most important things is to make sure you understand all the consequences of the plea bargain and to make sure you have confidence that your lawyer is acting with your best interest in mind. Some things to make sure you understand before accepting a plea bargain in federal court: (1) What will you be admitting to? (2) Does the plea bargain provide for a specific sentence? (3) Do you fully understand how the sentencing guidelines will affect your case and whether you will be eligible for a downward departure or subject to an upward departure? (4) Are there any mandatory minimum sentences that apply to your case? (5) If you are not a United States citizen, will the plea bargain affect your ability to remain in the United States? (6) If there will be a sentence of confinement, do you understand how “supervised release” works? (7) Are you waiving your right to appeal the application of the sentencing guidelines or will you be able to appeal how the trial judge applies the guidelines?

I have to meet with a probation officer who will be preparing my presentence report, should my lawyer go with me to this meeting?

Absolutely. The probation officer will do the preliminary calculation of your sentencing guidelines and, therefore, will have a great deal of influence on your ultimate sentence. Your lawyer owes it to you to attend this very important meeting in order to make sure that nothing is said which could have a detrimental effect on how your guidelines are calculated.

I either lost my trial or pleaded guilty in federal court, but I am not satisfied with the outcome, is there anything I can do?

Following a trial, you may appeal to the United States Court of Appeals provided you file a Notice of Appeal within fourteen days of the judgment. Following a guilty plea, you may appeal if you did not waive your right to appeal. If you lose an appeal in the Court of Appeals, you can then ask the United States Supreme Court to consider your case.

The United States Supreme Court picks and chooses the cases it will hear and, as a result, it hears only those cases raising issues that might have an effect on many different cases. After losing an appeal, you can file a post-conviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus if you believe you were denied a constitutional right or if you believe your lawyer was ineffective. Again, however, make sure you did not waive your right to file such petitions as part of your plea agreement.

Will I serve my whole sentence in a federal case?

Parole has been abolished in the federal system. If you are sentenced to prison, you are eligible for fifty-four days good time credits for sentences of more than one year. Therefore, you will usually serve about eighty-five percent of your sentence.

If you can demonstrate an alcohol or drug problem, it is also possible to have your sentence reduced by up to a year by participating in a drug program called RDAP.

Difference Between an Appeal and an Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus