Federal & White Collar Criminal Defense
Justice… Experience matters.
While serving as an Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting federal crimes for the United States Department of Justice, Mr. Ferguson gained a deep knowledge of the inner workings and complexities of a federal criminal case including:
- How investigations are conducted;
- Who does the federal government target;
- How should federal crimes cases be tried to a jury successfully;
- How internal United States Department of Justice policies effects how certain cases are handled.
In addition to speaking engagements and publishing articles relating to federal criminal law, Mr. Ferguson is a frequent contributor to the following blogs:
Federal Crimes are different than State crimes.
It is important to understand that if you have been charged with a federal crime or if you are the target of a federal crime, you absolutely must get in touch with Mr. Ferguson immediately. Federal crimes are very different than crimes brought against individuals by the State. Most notably,
- The federal government has more resources and funding than state prosecutors. Any time the federal government investigating someone, money is not an obstacle to their success,
- Unlike most state crimes, if you are the target of a federal crime or you have been charged, you must act quickly. If you have been charged with a crime in federal court you may have as few as 70 days or less to prepare your case for trial. If you have been notified by a federal agency that you are the target of a federal crime, waiting to develop a strategy fast may lead to a loss of an opportunity to resolve the case short of a crime being charged.
- Defending a federal case requires a team and a strategy. Ferguson has very valuable contacts with former federal agents, expert witnesses and consultants that he relies upon in protecting his client’s rights. Seldom should a client “just have an attorney.” You need a team and you need a strategy. Mr. Ferguson can help you with both.
- Not every lawyer who practices criminal defense is qualified to represent clients in federal court. Ferguson has been involved in hundreds of federal investigations as both a prosecutor and defense attorney and has worked federal cases in multiple federal districts in the Southeast as well as other regions like Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Texas.
- There is no such thing as parole in federal court. A person who is sentenced to federal prison usually serves 85% of the sentence or more.
- Restitution and forfeiture are powerful tools that the Government uses to get money out of criminal defendants,
- Federal cases can often be resolved before charges are brought. You must act early.
- Federal judges are appointed for life and have fewer cases that state court judges. They will be focused on your case and you will not get lost in the shuffle of the criminal justice system.
- Federal sentencing law can be harsh. Federal sentencing is government by the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Failure to understand these rules at the very beginning of a federal criminal prosecution can be detrimental to the ultimate outcome of the case for a person that has been charged in federal court.
Because of these differences, we initially recommend four things if you have been charged with or are the target of a federal crime:
- Do not talk to agents or law enforcement of any kind before talking to Mr. Ferguson. Law enforcement will likely attempt to convince you that you should not wait to talk to your lawyer. An effective defense of your case starts with exercising your right to counsel.
- Do not attempt to speak with persons that you believe to be Government witnesses about your case. This can lead to witness tampering or obstruction charges. Gather the names and give them to Mr. Ferguson.
- Run from any lawyer who guarantees an outcome in your case. While selling you on the notion that everything will be fine may lead to some relief from stress or worry, this is can lead to a completely false sense of security.
- Be careful following the advice of “legal experts” around you. In our experience when someone faces a legal problem in life, everyone around them including friends, family, and colleagues become “legal experts” and start giving advice. Other than perhaps recommending a lawyer for you to speak with, a person who is not a professional attorney practicing regularly in federal criminal cases cannot competently advise you or provide a strategy for moving forward.
How will you know if you have been charged with a federal crime or if I am the target of a federal investigation?
An indictment is a document that formally charges you with a federal crime. If you have been indicted by a federal grand jury, you will be notified in one of two ways. An arrest warrant may be issued for you and you will become aware of the indictment at the time of arrest. Secondly, the prosecutor may not seek to obtain an arrest warrant and you may be notified of your first appearance date in federal court via a document known as a summons. In either case, you need to seek the advice of counsel immediately.
Many times, the federal government will notify you that you are the target of a federal crime before an indictment is returned. This notice is usually delivered by federal law enforcement agents at your home or place of work. The letter will be signed by a federal prosecutor and explain that you are the target of an investigation. A person becomes a “target” of a crime when the federal Government believes that there is substantial evidence linking him or her to a crime. The absolute worst thing that you can do if you receive one of these letters is wait and do nothing. If you have received a target letter from the federal Government you absolutely must contact Mr. Ferguson and his team immediately.
Mr. Ferguson represents people and companies facing federal charges nationwide for any federal crime.
Our federal criminal practice is a nationwide practice. Mr. Ferguson has handled federal criminal investigations across the country in cases prosecuted by multiple federal law enforcement agencies including but not limited to the FBI, DEA, ATF, IRS, ICE, the Department of Homeland Security and Offices of Inspector General for multiple entities including the Department of Defense and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Ferguson handles cases involving the following federal crimes:
- Access Device Fraud
- Accounting Fraud
- Aggravated Identity Theft
- Anti-Kickback Violations
- Bank Fraud
- Computer Crimes
- Controlled Substances Act Prosecutions Against Healthcare Professionals
- Drug Crimes
- False Statements, Perjury, and Obstruction of Justice
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
- Firearms Offenses
- Healthcare Fraud
- Immigration and Naturalization Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Mortgage Fraud
- Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
- Securities Law Violations
- Social Security Fraud
- Tax Law Violations
- Mail and Wire Fraud
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