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Most criminal matters are tried in State Court. Such matters involve violations of state or local law. The Federal Government, however, has its own laws and regulations which must be obeyed. A violation of these laws carries serious consequences and can result in one facing prosecution by the United States. Federal Courts employ their own procedures, rules of evidence, and sentencing guidelines which make the process different from Illinois Circuit Courts. Many attorneys are not licensed to practice in Federal Court so selecting the right lawyer for such a case is crucial. Michael J. Brennan is a former prosecutor assisting Chicago defendants in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Contact our Orland Park office today to schedule an initial consultation.
One can be charged in Federal Court if they violate any section of Title 18 of the United States Code. Such matters are heard by a U.S. District Court Judge, appointed by the President, and decided by a Jury. If convicted a defendant will be sentenced under the U.S. sentencing guidelines which are far different than our state’s laws. The federal process is far more formal than many state courts and different evidentiary standards apply. Counsel must be specifically licensed to practice in Federal Court, which means that many lawyers are not able to represent federal cases.
A federal case begins when the U.S. Attorney brings charges before the Grand Jury. This is a one-sided process at which jurors will decide whether there is “probable cause” which justifies charging the defendant. The prosecutor will obtain an Indictment once they show that probable cause exists. The defendant will be arraigned by a Magistrate Judge and will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. A trial date will be set and the case will ultimately be decided by a jury of one’s peers. Common federal charges include being a felon in possession of a firearm, pornography related crimes, as well as white collar offenses.
Our Chicago criminal defense attorney handles federal charges filed in Illinois. Michael will attend your initial arraignment before the Magistrate and immediately obtain all discovery from the prosecutors. If law enforcement (whether the FBI or local police) violated your rights then we will file a Motion to Suppress any evidence or statements which were wrongfully obtained. Your matter will be fully investigated and prepared for trial. Michael is a former prosecutor who has handled many criminal cases and is experienced in selecting a jury. This is a serious process and our lawyer will take it seriously.
Michael has been practicing law for over thirty years. While with the state’s attorney’s office he handled many matters related to drugs and gangs and now devotes his practices to helping individuals protect their rights. He promptly responds to phone calls and emails, works to keep you informed as to the status of your case, and strives to provide the highest level of service. This is our promise to each and every one of our clients.