Federal Criminal Defense

The punishments for criminal charges prosecuted in federal court typically involve a much harsher sentence than crimes prosecuted in state court. Federal prosecutors have less discretion in making sentencing decisions and federal judges often follow strict sentencing guidelines. Additionally, not only do federal crimes have a higher maximum penalty than state crimes, but most federal crimes come with additional punishment enhancements.

Prosecutors in federal court are known as Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA). Federal prosecutors work at the direction of the United States Attorney to prosecute criminal cases brought by the federal government against individuals and organizations who violate criminal laws enacted by the United States Congress.

Federal crimes in the Western District of Texas are prosecuted at one of the four federal judicial districts in Texas. The headquarters of the Western District are in San Antonio. Additional offices are located in Alpine, Austin, Del Rio, El Paso, Midland, and Waco.

If you are under investigation for a federal crime being prosecuted in the Western District of Texas or the San Antonio Division, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. Call (210) 738-8383 for a free and confidential consultation.


Types of Criminal Charges Prosecuted in Federal Court 

Federal crimes are defined by statutes enacted by the U.S. Congress. Federal crimes involve drug crimes, fraudulent activity that affects interstate commerce, crimes in which the federal government is defrauded, firearm crimes and immigration offenses. 

Some criminal offenses violate both state and federal law. In these cases, the United States Attorney's Office works with local and state law enforcement agencies to determine whether a case will be filed in state or federal court.

Over the last ten years, the most common types of criminal offenses prosecuted in federal court include:

  • Federal Drugs Crimes
    • simple possession of drugs
    • the manufacture of drugs
    • the sale of drugs
    • the transportation of a drug
    • drug trafficking
  • Federal Firearm Charges
    • possession or use of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime
    • possession of a firearm by a convicted felon 
    • the use of firearms or ammunition during a crime
    • the use of fire or explosives to commit a felony
    • possession of guns or explosives in a federal facility, a school, or on an aircraft
    • unlawful trafficking in explosives
    • unlawful possession or transportation of firearms or ammunition
  • Fraud Offenses
    • identity theft crimes under 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(7) or 18 U.S.C. § 1028A
    • healthcare fraud
    • internet fraud
    • mail fraud
    • securities fraud
    • wire fraud
    • tax fraud
  • Federal Immigration Crimes
    • unlawful entry into the United States
    • remaining in the United States without authority
    • alien smuggling activities
    • trafficking in passports or entry documents
    • failure to surrender naturalization certificates
    • fraudulently acquiring passports;
    • fraudulently acquiring entry documents

According to the United States Sentencing Commission, in the fiscal year 2015, these four main types of federal crimes (drug, fraud, firearm and immigration) accounted for 81.6 percent of all cases reported to Commission.

Other commonly prosecuted federal crimes include: 


Additional Resources

Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Antonio - Assistant United States Attorneys in the Criminal Division work with agents and officers from a variety of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations who violate federal criminal laws.

San Antonio Division of the Western District of Texas
U.S. District Clerk's Office
655 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., Room G65
San Antonio, Texas 78206

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force - Members of the OCDETF investigate and prosecute large scale drug trafficking organizations throughout the Western District of Texas, headquartered in San Antonio, TX.


Finding a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer in Texas

Don Flanary is an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. Call for a free and confidential consultation. During the initial consultation, you can discuss the case with Don Flanary. Your attorney can help you understand your options when it comes to: 

  • fighting the criminal charges based on actual innocence; 
  • fighting the criminal charges based on insufficient evidence or illegally obtained evidence seized either with or without a warrant;
  • the pros and cons of cooperating with the Federal Government during the earliest stages of the case; and
  • entering into plea negotiations with the prosecutor to minimize the possible sentence imposed in your case.

After you retain a criminal defense attorney, your attorney can meet with the case agent and prosecutor, if appropriate, to discuss:  

  • evidence that is favorable to your defense or shows your actual innocence;
  • what federal charges, if any, will be filed against you;
  • whether motions to dismiss or motions to suppress evidence can be filed; or 
  • whether a plea agreement can be reached before formal federal charges are filed against you.

Call (210) 738-8383 today for a free consultation to discuss your case.


This article was last updated on Monday, December 19, 2016.

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