Representation for Federal Criminal Charges in Ohio
At Patituce & Associates, LLC, we help individuals facing incredibly serious penalties for federal crimes or actions that the government alleges that they committed.
With 70+ years of combined experience and three former prosecutors on our team, Patituce & Associates, LLC is Cleveland’s criminal defense law firm. We have taken more than 200 cases to trial. We are prepared to fight (and win!) by tailoring a defense for each case.
If you were charged with a federal crime, contact a Cleveland federal criminal defense attorney immediately or have someone from your family do so on your behalf. These matters are prosecuted by the “A” team – not small-town or county prosecutors. The U.S. government has a vast array of money, police officers, and prosecutors at their disposal. It is important you have an Ohio federal crime lawyer ready to represent you.
“I was charged with a federal offense that started with a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison but really called for a sentence of over 200 months. My first attorney tried to get me to take a plea that would have sent me to prison for a period of 151 to 180 months. I wish I had done my research first. Joe saved my life. He cost more than my first attorney but that was money well spent. He knew what he was doing, his team was effective. Any time I called Joe with a question I got a call back within an hour… even on the weekends. I highly recommend him, he saved my life”- R.Z.
What Is a Federal Offense?
A federal crime is one in which the defendant is accused of violating federal law. Generally, with these offenses, the prohibited conduct crosses state lines or country borders. This may involve physical movement from one place to another – for instance, if a person transports drugs from Ohio to Indiana. It can also consist of the act itself occurring in different locations – for example, if someone in Ohio emails a person in Pennsylvania to further a pyramid scheme.
Federal crimes also include unlawful conduct that takes place on federal property or affects the U.S. government in some way. For example, driving while under the influence in a national park can be prosecuted as a federal DUI. Or, knowingly failing to file taxes is a federal fraud offense.
Most Common Federal Crimes
Our Cleveland federal crime attorneys defend clients in the Northern District of Ohio against federal charges such as:
- Murder: Under federal law, murder can be charged in the first or second degree. The degree is tied to how the offense occurred. Violations considered first-degree murder include, but are not limited to: planning the crime, using poison, lying in wait, committing it during another offense, or committing it after a pattern of assault or torture against a child. All other conduct resulting in the death of another is second-degree murder.
- Tax Crimes: Several types of conduct can be considered federal tax fraud. A few examples of these crimes include evading taxes, failing to pay taxes, failing to file a tax return, and making false statements on tax returns.
- Fraud: Fraud crimes involve the use of deception to unlawfully obtain benefits, property, or other items of value. Types of offenses include mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft, and securities fraud.
- Conspiracy: A person may be prosecuted under the federal conspiracy law if it is alleged that they, in concert with one or more others, planned to commit a crime against or defraud the United States. At least one of the other people involved must have taken steps to further the offense.
- Drug Crimes: Prohibited acts under Section 841 of Title 21 of the United States Code include unlawfully manufacturing, creating, distributing, or dispensing controlled or counterfeit substances; possessing chemicals with the intent to manufacture controlled substances; using the Internet to sell or dispense drugs. Section 844 of Title 21 of the United States Code prohibits simple possession of controlled substances.
- Child Pornography: Federal child pornography laws make it illegal for anyone to produce, distribute, transport, receive, access, or view images depicting a person under 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
- Sex Crimes: Broadly, federal sex crimes laws concern unlawful sexual contact or conduct committed against one or more persons. Offenses include, but are not limited to sex trafficking, child pornography, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a minor, and abusive sexual conduct.
- Weapon Crimes: Federal weapons offenses involve unlawfully using, possessing, carrying, selling, manufacturing, and/or transporting of deadly weapons. Deadly weapons include firearms, explosives, knives, silencers, and ammunition.
As former prosecutors, we understand the consequences and difficult road clients have before them. Once an individual has been charged with federal crimes, typically a conspiracy charge, they face a fierce opponent in the U.S. attorneys trying to prosecute them. As Ohio federal criminal defense attorneys, we help clients in Ohio and across the United States charged with federal crimes ranging from federal drug charges to federal conspiracy charges.
Difference Between Federal and State Crimes
How the federal government and state governments prosecute and penalize crimes differs. The most common crimes are violations of state law. Thus, the state handles the majority of criminal cases. However, federal laws enacted by Congress are prosecuted at the national level if the committed crime is tied to a federal issue. Fewer crimes are considered federal criminal violations.
The following factors are used to determine whether a criminal offense falls under federal jurisdiction:
- Cases violating the U.S. Constitution / federal law
- Citizens of different states if the case involves more than $75,000
- Cases affecting the United States
It is important when selecting a Cleveland federal criminal defense attorney that you find a lawyer who understands the federal sentencing guidelines, as well as the federal rules of evidence. In federal courts, federal judges follow the “Federal Sentencing Guidelines.” It is vital that your federal defense attorney in Ohio understand these rules before going into your case.
Client faced possession with intent to distribute LSD 21 U.S.C. Result: Typically, it is a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, with the potential for life in prison. In this case, we got the sentence reduced to 55 months.
Am I Entitled to Legal Representation During a Federal Investigation?
If you are under investigation for an alleged federal offense, you have the right to have legal representation by your side, even at this early stage in the process.
Getting a federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is crucial to defending your case. They can provide advice and guidance about whether or not to answer federal investigators’ questions.
Too often, people make the mistake of trying to clear their name during the investigation, hoping to prevent criminal charges and prosecution. Many times, such action substantially impacts the outcome of a case, as statements made during the investigation can be used as evidence later on.
Cleveland Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
At Patituce & Associates, LLC, we have established a reputation for being aggressive, diligent, and dedicated to our clients. We stand proudly by our reputation and have a track record for getting results. Attorney Joseph Patituce, a former Cuyahoga County prosecutor, is our firm’s managing partner. In his career, he has had a success rate of over 90% at trial; however, keep in mind that every single case is different. Merely being successful in the past does not mean it will always happen.
We often hear from people who have had friends or family members go through the legal system that they are afraid that their attorneys will try to force a plea on them. At Patituce & Associates, LLC, we will never “sell you out” in such a way. We will always let you choose whether you go to trial or take a plea. We are highly experienced Cleveland federal criminal defense lawyers, and we promise to defend you the way we would want our family members, or even ourselves, to be defended.