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Columbia SC Federal Crimes Defense Attorneys

Columbia Federal Crimes Defense Attorneys

What you need to know when facing federal charges in Columbia, South Carolina

A federal crime is an action deemed illegal or criminal by United States law and is litigated in federal court. Because most federal crimes are quite serious in nature, a conviction can affect your career, your rights, and your freedom. The criminal justice process, especially at the federal level, is complicated and intricate in comparison to the state level. You may face allegations and questioning from a variety of prosecuting attorneys and even federal agents.

It’s imperative you have effective and experienced legal counsel when facing federal charges. At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A., we have more than 25 years of experience to put to work fighting the charges against you. Attorney Hough’s past work as a Special Assistant United States Attorney gives him the distinct insight necessary to build a strategic criminal defense case on your behalf.

Representing clients in a variety of federal charges

There are many differences between state and federal crimes, but the biggest is that with the federal court system, the stakes are even higher. Conviction of a federal crime usually results in longer prison sentences and it’s imperative you have a lawyer experienced with the federal system, its procedures, and rules of evidence.

We can help you navigate through the system, providing knowledgeable guidance in a variety of federal cases, including:

When you’re facing significant jail time or probation, you need to get proactive. We start working for you immediately, investigating every detail of your case to build the best possible defense and anticipate every move the prosecution will make. As a federal criminal defense attorney, Randy Hough knows how much you stand to lose, and he dedicates himself to defending the rights of clients in Columbia, Charleston, and across South Carolina.

“Remember, an arrest is not a conviction.”    -    Attorney Hough

When is a crime a federal offense?

In most situations, if you commit a crime in S.C., you’ll face charges on the state level. However, there are certain conditions under which you can be charged with breaking federal law, and face federal charges instead. These conditions include:

  • Being arrested based on information from a federal informant during a formal investigation
  • Being investigated and arrested by a federal agency (FBI, DEA, etc.)
  • Committing a crime on federal property (like a federal building or park)
  • Committing criminal activity across state lines
  • Violating a federal statute

If an alleged crime overlaps jurisdictions, whether you’re charged with a state or federal crime may be up to the discretion of the prosecution. This is why it’s so important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you believe you’re under investigation. We can ensure you’re prepared and ready for whatever happens next.

What are the penalties for a federal crime conviction?

Federal courts use a complex system of sentencing guidelines, and the possible penalties for a federal conviction depend on the specifics of your case. However, under federal sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums, the consequences of a federal conviction are often much more severe than those for state crimes. Federal judges also have discretion to increase penalties under certain circumstances – but there are also factors that can call for a reduction in sentence.

Convictions for federal crimes can range from a few months to life in federal prison. When you’re facing federal charges, there’s absolutely no time to waste. At The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. we work to minimize the charges against you and get the lowest sentence possible.

The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. also aggressively defends clients against other criminal charges, including assault, arson, kidnapping, and charges against college students. We also handle drunk driving defense.

I think I’m being investigated by federal agents. What should I do?

Here’s the most important thing you can do – exercise your right to remain silent. Do not talk to any investigators without an attorney present. If you believe you may be under investigation, or you’re actively under investigation, contact our offices before speaking to anyone. We can protect your constitutional rights.

Who investigates and prosecutes federal crimes?

Generally, the United States Attorney’s Office prosecutes federal cases. These types of cases may be investigated by federal law enforcement agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Secret Service. Additionally, these agencies can work in partnership with state and local prosecutors and police departments.

Can I avoid conviction of a federal crime?

Attorney Hough is a staunch protector of the rights of the criminally accused. We know that, no matter what prosecutors allege you’ve done, you have rights under the Constitution, and our job is to defend those rights. If you’ve been charged with a federal crime, the first step of our investigation is addressing whether your rights were violated during any part of the process. Whether you were the victim of illegal search and seizure, a failure to read your rights, or another violation of your rights, we can work to have the charges against you dropped.

What role does a federal grand jury play?

A federal grand jury investigates whether a federal crime took place – and if so, who likely committed the crime. If a grand jury finds that there was probable cause a crime was committed, then they’ll indict the person they believe broke the law. Federal grand jury deliberations are always done in secret.

Can a state-level crime turn into a federal crime? How?

The short answer is yes, sometimes. In some cases, a state criminal investigation may evolve into investigating multiple defendants and parties across state lines, necessitating federal intervention. This can occur in cases involving large amounts of drugs and weapons, like trafficking, or RICO charges.

Experienced federal criminal defense in Columbia & Charleston

Although any criminal arrest and charge is a serious matter, federal criminal charges can be much more complicated and difficult than state charges. If you’re under federal criminal investigation, or have been arrested, you need an attorney with inside knowledge of the system. Talk to The Law Offices of A. Randolph Hough, P.A. today for custom defense strategies from a trusted defense lawyer. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Columbia or Charleston, please call 803-771-4119 or fill out our contact form.