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 & Mickelsen have over fifty years combined experience in federal court, and a track record of positive results. Indeed, despite the fact that the conviction rate in federal court is approximately 90%-95%, only approximately 35% of the cases Clint Broden has tried in federal court has resulted in final convictions.
Federal white-collar offenses encompass a wide variety of alleged crimes, but most involve some allegation of fraud. Broden & Mickelsen frequently defend individuals accused of mail and wire fraud, which is alleged in many fraud cases. For mail fraud, the government must prove not only that a fraud occurred, but also that in the course of the fraudulent scheme something was mailed. For wire fraud, the government must prove not only that a fraud occurred, but also in the course of the fraudulent scheme that someone used a telephone or the internet.
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.
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.
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.
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 have successfully defended several clients charged with Federal computer crimes at trial.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Please read our blog post –
Difference Between an Appeal and an Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus