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Federal Charges

When you think of being arrested in Florida, you typically think of a situation involving the local police where violations of state law, such as for DUI, assault, and state drug offenses, are charges. However, the federal government has its own set of rules regarding many different kinds of crimes, and an offender facing federal charges will do so according to the federal criminal process.

While this is not necessarily better or worse than facing state charges, it is different, with different procedures, different rules, and a different court environment. When facing federal charges in Palm Beach County or anywhere else in Florida, it can be critical to your defense to have a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney by your side who understands the differences, benefits, and challenges in federal cases.

West Palm Beach Federal Charge Defense Attorney

Facing federal charges can be a daunting and intimidating experience with lifelong consequences if you are convicted. If you have been arrested on a federal charge anywhere in the Palm Beach County area, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and Wellington, take the critical first step in protecting your rights, freedom, and future from conviction by contacting Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. When considering a defense lawyer, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.

As a former army medic and public defender, experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Andrew Stine has a militant attention to detail and ingrained passion for defense of rights that can be beneficial to your federal case in the Palm Beach County area. Andrew Stine has over 10 years of experience defending clients like you, and knows what it takes to defeat both state and federal charges in the courtroom and before trial. To find out more information about how Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can help you with your federal charges in West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, call 561-832-1170 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.


Florida Federal Crime Information Center


Federal Courts in Florida

In the United States, we operate under a system called federalism. This means that both the individual states and the federal government have legislative bodies for passing laws. The Florida Legislature is the body for the state of Florida, and the United States Congress is the body for the federal government. Both the Florida government and the federal government have the power to enforce those laws. Generally, it is the states that have jurisdiction over the majority of criminal matters. However, the federal government also has its own set of criminal laws that can cause arrests.

Traditionally, the federal government has only used its criminal jurisdiction for crimes that cross borders, both state and international – such as for crimes like human trafficking, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, or fraud. In the last century, however, this trend has been changing, with the federal government encroaching closer and closer on that traditional line separating federal issues from state issues. This includes matters like illegal drug possession, which conventionally has been handled by state law.

It is important to note that the similarities between federal and state criminal cases include the duty of the prosecution to prove all their case elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense is obligated to prove nothing, unless the defendant desires to present an affirmative defense. The job of the defense in a federal case, then is the same as for a state case – to protect the defendant’s rights and to show that there is, in fact, reasonable doubt in both the individual elements of the prosecution’s case and their case as a whole.

A federal conviction can come with time served in federal prison, which is often a dangerous place where people lose their liberty, privacy, and dignity and not the idealized “white collar country club” from popular misconception. When fighting federal charges and the federal penalties that come with them, therefore, it is important for you to have an experienced Palm Beach County criminal defense attorney experienced in working with the differing rules, procedures, and environment found in the federal court system.


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Federal Drug Charges and Florida Residents

Drug charges are one of the areas traditionally handled by the states, but that the federal government has been showing increased interest in as the failing War on Drugs wages on. Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 banning the illegal possession, distribution and manufacturing or cultivation of hundreds of substances, including:

These drugs are arranged into five lists, known as schedules, which classify each drug according to factors like the danger of dependence and the number and breadth of accepted medical uses. The drugs considered the most dangerous and that have the most punitive consequences are in Schedule I, and the drugs with the least consequences and that are considered the least dangerous are in Schedule V. Possession of these drugs in these schedules is illegal under federal law, but federal officials tend to prosecute the bigger, more punitive charges like drug trafficking.

A conviction for federal drug trafficking comes with mandatory minimum federal prison sentences and possible life imprisonment, as well as millions of dollars in fines. Of all the federal law enforcement agencies that prosecute federal drug crime, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is the one that exists primarily to prosecute these crimes. Working with an experienced West Palm Beach federal crime defense lawyer is important to defend your rights and your future from the thorough and determined prosecution of drug charges by the DEA and other federal agencies.


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Federal Fraud Offenses in Florida

What many fraud offenders in Florida tend to forget is that agencies like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are part of the federal government. Therefore, fraud crimes like Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud, tax evasion, and tax fraud are federal offenses. An example of Medicare of Medicaid fraud is when a provider bills for unnecessary services, or for services that were not provided. Mail and wire fraud include attempts to defraud a person or entity of anything of value through the U.S. postal system or telecommunications. These offenses also cover fraud on eBay, Amazon, and other internet commerce sites.

Bankruptcy fraud can include the filing of false information, or filing for bankruptcy at the same time in multiple states. Tax evasion and tax fraud can be when a person avoids paying their taxes altogether, or instances of under reporting income or claiming an exemption you don’t qualify for. The extent and severity of federal fraud cases depends on the value of the property or funds involved and the number of people involved. Conviction for a federal fraud offense can result in decades in federal prison, so working with an experienced federal charge defense attorney in West Palm Beach is highly recommended for any federal fraud case in the Palm Beach County area.


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Other Federal Charges in Florida

Though federal drug charges and federal fraud charges are two of the most-pursued offenses by federal agencies, there are several other federal crimes that come up for prosecution in Florida. The penalties for these crimes often vary according to the severity of the crime, the impact on public safety, and the number of people involved. Contact an experienced West Palm Beach federal charge defense lawyer if you face any of the following federal crimes in the Palm Beach County area:

Federal Weapon Offenses – includes offenses like firearms trafficking and illegally possessing a firearm in a federal facility

Federal Sex Crimes – includes traveling across stateliness to engage in sex with a person under 12 years old, committing rape in federal facilities, and certain human trafficking offenses

Counterfeiting – includes counterfeiting money and the manufacturing or owning with the intent to use counterfeiting equipment, and can be investigated by the Secret Service as a federal crime

Racketeering – the federal charge for organized crime, governed by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)


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Resources for Palm Beach County Federal Charges

United States District Court – Southern District of Florida – Visit this link to visit the website for the federal court governing federal criminal and civil cases in Florida. The Southern District of Florida’s website includes information like what judges are serving, contact information for the different offices, the progress of your case, and FAQs concerning the federal system. The local federal court office can be found at:

Paul G. Rogers Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
701 Clematis Street
Room 202
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone: (561) 803-3400

DEA – Office of Diversion Control – The federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s Office of Diversion Control is committed to stopping one of the main problems associated with drug abuse and crimes involving illegal prescription drugs – the diversion of prescription drugs from lawful purpose into illicit drug traffic. The DEA ODC strives to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals from legitimate sources without impeding the supply for legitimate, legal needs. Click this link to visit their website, which includes important information like how to dispose of unwanted, leftover prescription drugs.


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Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Federal Crime Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County

If you have been arrested and charged on a federal offense in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, or the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County, exercise your right to an attorney and contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately.

Andrew Stine is a skilled and qualified West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer with over a decade of experience, and knows what it takes to defend your rights and your future against a conviction from the federal government. Your first consultation is free, so call 561.880.4300 today and schedule yours.