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Coconut Grove Federal Defense Attorney

Federal criminal lawyer specializing in complex federal charges

Facing a federal charge means facing the possibility of strict sentencing. For attorneys, defending someone in a federal case means encountering some of the most experienced and accomplished judges and prosecutors in the country. If you have been charged with a federal offense, you need a Coconut Grove federal defense lawyer who is up for the task. Joffe Law, P.A. is a leading federal defense firm in Florida. We represent people throughout South Florida who have been accused of federal crimes.

Federal jurisdiction in criminal matters

Most crimes that take place in Florida are prosecuted by the state. However, some offenses are simultaneously within the state and federal government’s jurisdiction. The federal government may assert jurisdiction over a criminal matter if:

  • the case involves activity that took place in two or more states
  • the case involves activity that took place on federal government property
  • the case involves a federal government official
  • the case involves activity that took place across one or more international borders

Jurisdiction is not always so straightforward. Your Coconut Grove federal defense attorney may be able to challenge the jurisdiction in your case and potentially avoid the harsh reality of facing a federal charge.

Types of federal cases we handle

We represent defendants who are facing a variety of federal criminal charges. Some of the most common cases we see at our Coconut Grove federal defense law firm include:

Our Florida federal defense lawyer is well-versed in federal case law and has decades of experience defending people who are facing federal charges. We are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and fighting for the most favorable outcome we can achieve in their cases.

Just Arrested in Coconut Grove?
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.

Federal investigations in Coconut Grove

Federal agencies investigate federal offenses. In cases that involve offenses like drug trafficking, human trafficking, or child pornography, the federal government will often partner with local law enforcement agencies to investigate the crime. Examples of federal law enforcement agencies that investigate criminal activity include:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Retaining a defense attorney during the investigative stage can better position your lawyer to protect your reputation and leverage more legal options on your behalf.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI is perhaps the most famous of the investigative federal agencies and the first agency that comes to mind when people think of federal crime. Although most people imagine FBI agents wearing black suits and chasing down international assailants, the department’s investigative scope is very broad. Some of the crimes the FBI investigates include:

  • terrorism
  • cybercrime
  • counterintelligence
  • civil rights violations
  • organized crime
  • public corruption
  • white collar crime
  • weapons of mass destruction
  • violent crime

With such a broad field of interest, the FBI often works in cooperation with state and local law enforcement agencies. FBI agents are known for their world-class training and the bureau’s use of science, technology, intelligence, and other specialized tools to solve crimes.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has an interesting history that includes once having been part of the Department of Treasury. The agency traces its origins back to Alexander Hamilton, who implemented the first tax on distilled spirits. After the Prohibition era, the agency’s focus shifted primarily to investigating and preventing crimes that involve the use, manufacture, and possession of firearms and explosives. Today, the agency still investigates criminal organizations that have a connection to violent crime and traffic illegal liquor and tobacco in interstate commerce. ATF also regulates the licensing, possession, transportation, and sale of firearms, ammunition, and explosives in interstate commerce.

Department of Homeland Security

As the name suggests, the Department of Homeland Security works to secure the United States. The agency was formed in response to the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Specific functions of DHS include:

  • customs
  • border control
  • immigration enforcement
  • response to natural and manmade disasters
  • antiterrorism
  • cybersecurity

Securities and Exchange Commission

Several corporate scandals have made national headlines due to high-profile investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC investigates activities that violate the laws that govern securities trading. Irregularities that are likely to attract the attention of of the SEC include:

  • accounting errors
  • suspected insider trading
  • negligence
  • fraud
  • market manipulation

The SEC conducts two types of investigations: formal and informal. Most investigations are informal. An informal investigation will typically arise out of the SEC’s general concerns about a company or individual’s compliance with securities laws. Informal investigations are broader in scope. The SEC makes use of information that is provided by the company or individual and by whistleblowers.

Formal investigations are more serious. The SEC will typically launch a formal investigation if they have specific evidence of an individual or company violating securities laws. During a formal investigation, the SEC may subpoena documents and other information from the subject of the investigation. Formal investigations are typically reserved for cases that involve large sums of money or a large number of investors who would be affected by the outcome.

Internal Revenue Service

Most people think of taxes when they hear the name “IRS.” One of the most apparent functions of the IRS is to investigate violations of federal tax law. However, IRS investigations often help other government agencies investigate and prosecute other types of offenses. Tax investigations often uncover important details about:

  • identity theft schemes
  • money laundering
  • organized crime
  • bankruptcy fraud
  • employment tax fraud
  • healthcare fraud
  • bankruptcy fraud
  • drug-related offenses

How the federal government learns about crime

In some instances, the federal government will investigate a major criminal act like a fire, a suspected act of terrorism, or a bank robbery. However, federal agencies most often learn about criminal activity through tips and informants. Criminal informants agree to supply the federal government with information about criminal activity in exchange for a reduced sentence. Not all informants are criminal informants. Anyone who provides information to a federal agency about a potential crime is technically a federal informant.

Federal white collar offenses

Some of the most sensational crimes are white collar offenses. We represent defendants throughout South Florida who have been charged with a white collar crime. Some of the most common types cases our Coconut Grove white collar crime attorneys handle include:

  • fraud
  • tax evasion
  • racketeering
  • Ponzi schemes

Florida fraud cases

Fraud is a legal term that generally describes the act of intentionally making a misrepresentation for the purpose of illegally receiving money or something else that is of value. Examples of different types of fraud include:

  • bank fraud
  • mortgage fraud
  • insurance fraud
  • wire fraud
  • mail fraud

Bank fraud refers to any type of misrepresentation that involves a financial institution. Identity theft, credit card fraud, and check fraud are also often categorized as varieties of bank fraud. Wire fraud and mail fraud are often charged as add-on offenses in white collar criminal cases. Any deceptive scheme that involves the use of a postal service or wired communication method may be charged as mail or wire fraud respectively. Both mail and wire fraud are standalone offenses.

Federal tax evasion lawyer

Tax avoidance and tax evasion sound similar, but they are very different. Accountants often advise their clients on how to implement tax avoidance schemes to reduce their tax liability. Tax evasion is an illegal practice by which individuals and businesses underreport their assets and income, which results in the underpayment or non-payment of taxes. We represent people who are accused of serious tax-related offenses. Our Coconut Grove federal defense attorney will advocate on your behalf for a more lenient case outcome.

Racketeering offenses in Coconut Grove

State and federal prosecutors use the state and federal RICO statutes to target members of criminal enterprises. Sometimes people who do not actually have a relationship with a criminal enterprise may be charged with racketeering. Joffe Law is qualified to represent you in federal and state racketeering cases. There are several elements in a racketeering charge your attorney may be able to challenge on your behalf.

Federal Ponzi schemes

Ponzi schemes are investment scams that target everyday consumers who have income to invest. Potential victims are typically lured in when someone who is posing as a financial professional promises an unusually high guaranteed rate of return in a safe investment. The scammer collects money from private investors and never deposits the money into an investment product. Instead, the scammer uses the money to fund his or her lifestyle. Early victims of the scheme are usually able to make withdrawals in the beginning to create the impression that the investors are actually making money from the fake investment product. However, the scammer will eventually close down all methods of contact and possibly leave town and after taking the investors’ money. The investors learn about the scam when they are no longer able to reach the scammer.

Ponzi schemes often involve workers the scammer may hire to make the investment opportunity appear legitimate. For example, the scammer may operate out of an office space and hire employees to staff the office. When federal agents eventually raid the office, they are sometimes inclined to make arrests first and determine who was knowingly involved in the crime later.

If you believe you may be unknowingly working with an illegal organization, contact a Florida defense lawyer. A defense attorney can preemptively protect you and help you prepare for the possibility of a federal investigation before you are charged with a crime.

Defense attorney for federal drug crimes

Drug-related offenses are heavily penalized under federal and state law. Federal drug offenses often carry mandatory minimum sentences. Mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines call for judges to automatically sentence a defendant to a specified minimum amount of time in prison if convicted. The stakes are extremely high for defendants in federal drug cases. Therefore, anyone who is accused of a federal drug crime in Coconut Grove should retain an experienced federal defense attorney in Florida.

Child pornography defense in Coconut Grove

Crimes that exploit children are intensely investigated and prosecuted by the federal and state courts. A false accusation of a child pornography offense can have a lingering effect on the accused party’s personal and professional life. Similar to federal drug crimes, child pornography offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences when prosecuted in federal court. If you have been accused of possessing, transmitting, or promoting child pornography, contact a Coconut Grove child pornography defense attorney.

Attorney for federal appeals in South Florida

We represent defendants at all stages of the federal criminal court system. Even if you have been convicted for a federal offense, we may be able to file a direct appeal on your behalf. A trial court conviction automatically triggers the defendant’s right to file a direct appeal. However, defendants who want to appeal a federal trial court’s decision must file a Notice of Appeal within 14 days of the conviction. If you are outside of the 14-day window, there may be other options for post-conviction relief we can leverage to fight for justice.

The appeals process is lengthy and requires a formidable federal appeals attorney in Coconut Grove. David Joffe has more than 35 years of experience fighting and winning in federal court.

Reach a Coconut Grove federal defense attorney

Our Coconut Grove federal defense lawyer’s winning track record sets him apart from the field. If you are facing a federal charge, choosing a defense attorney is a critical decision. The legal team at Joffe Law has the professional resources and legal expertise to fight your legal battle. We will help you feel informed as we determine the best approach to defending you against serious federal allegations. Contact our talented team to learn more about our federal legal defense services in Coconut Grove and to schedule a case evaluation.

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