5 Mistakes People Make When Facing Federal Criminal Charges in Las Cruces

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Federal criminal charges are harrowing, leaving the accused and their families grappling with an uncertain future. In Las Cruces, New Mexico, navigating the federal criminal justice system requires the utmost care, attention to detail, and strategic thinking. With your freedom and future on the line, it’s vital to know your rights and your options to make informed decisions. The choices you make from the moment you are charged can have a profound impact on the overall outcome of your case. Unfortunately, many people make critical mistakes that can jeopardize their defense and leave them in an even worse position.  Fortunately, these mistakes are largely avoidable, especially with an experienced Las Cruces federal criminal defense attorney by your side. If you or a loved one are facing federal criminal charges in Las Cruces, trust the Benjamin Law Firm for aggressive representation from an expert in the field of criminal defense. Our team is ready to start fighting for you today.

1. Talking to Law Enforcement Without an Attorney

No matter how friendly and helpful they may seem when you have criminal charges hanging over your head, law enforcement is not your friend, and it’s advisable to always consult with an attorney or have an attorney present when speaking to law enforcement. Law enforcement officers, especially at the federal level, are trained to employ tactics to get suspects talking without having the accused realize the information they share can – and probably will – come back to haunt them. Law enforcement will go to great lengths to gather statements, evidence, and confessions. Worse, it’s completely legal for law enforcement officers to mislead suspects or even outright lie in an interrogation. Innocent statements and minor inconsistencies can be misconstrued and used to bolster law enforcement’s case against the accused, so it’s critical that any individual facing federal criminal charges exercise their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney as soon as law enforcement becomes involved.

2. Failing to Collect and Preserve Evidence

Evidence is everything where any criminal charges are concerned. You can never have too much, but too little can land you in hot water. In federal criminal cases, evidence plays a huge role in convincing a judge or jury that the accused is innocent. Failing to preserve evidence, such as photographs, clothing, correspondence, and the like, or neglecting to collect favorable evidence in a timely manner, such as surveillance footage, witness statements, and electronic records, can have a detrimental effect on the accused’s defense. This kind of evidence can degrade or may be erased if it isn’t acted on and collected quickly. Individuals facing federal criminal charges should work closely with their attorney to identify and collect any relevant evidence promptly.

3. Underestimating the Severity of Federal Charges

Federal criminal charges are often in an entirely different ballpark when compared to state-level charges. Not only are the penalties often harsher, but there are dozens of federal law enforcement agencies tasked with identifying, investigating, and prosecuting various federal crimes in addition to local and state law enforcement. With merciless penalties, the potential for federal prison time, and a permanent criminal record hanging in the balance, individuals facing federal charges need to understand the seriousness and potential consequences of federal charges so they can take appropriate action to safeguard their rights and defend themselves. A skilled and seasoned Las Cruces criminal defense attorney can help anyone accused of a federal crime understand the charges, potential sentences, and future implications of a conviction. Your attorney will take proactive steps to protect your rights, future, and freedoms, mounting a robust defense designed to achieve the best possible outcome.

4. Neglecting to Consider Plea Bargain Options

Only about two percent of federal criminal charges ever reach the trial stage, with the overwhelming majority being resolved through the plea bargaining process. While going to trial may seem like the best option to prove your innocence, it is a serious gamble. When a case is left in the hands of a judge and a jury, there are no guarantees. Plea bargains, on the other hand, are a guaranteed outcome that is often far more favorable than the penalties you’d be facing if convicted at trial. Prosecutors are known to shy away from the uncertainty of trial and have to consider that trials are expensive and time-consuming for the state. Therefore, prosecutors may offer plea deals that involve reduced charges or lighter sentences. An experienced Las Cruces federal criminal defense attorney can help you weigh your options and negotiate for more favorable terms, helping you make an informed decision.

5. Overlooking the Importance of Early Legal Intervention

By far, the most common mistake an individual facing federal criminal charges in Las Cruces can make is waiting too long to seek legal representation. Some people mistakenly believe federal criminal charges are something they can handle on their own, or believe that an attorney can’t be of service until formal charges are filed or legal proceedings begin. However, federal investigations move quickly, and with the potential for asset forfeiture and pre-trial detention, it’s critical to act fast while you still have every option to protect your freedom and future. The decisions you make from the very start, even the smallest ones, can have a huge impact on how your case will play out. By having an experienced Las Cruces federal defense attorney by your side from the start, you can rest assured that your rights are protected, you are making all the right choices, and you are navigating the federal criminal justice system effectively. Early legal intervention ensures you have every option available to you to build a strong defense.

The experienced Las Cruces federal criminal legal team at the Benjamin Law Firm stands ready to leverage our experience, knowledge, and two decades of experience to ensure you reach the best possible outcome. Trust a pillar in the criminal defense community, Attorney Brock Morgan Benjamin, whose extensive experience warrants the honor of being Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. That expertise, coupled with his experience as a former prosecutor, gives Attorney Benjamin a valuable edge whether you’re looking to negotiate a favorable plea bargain or present an aggressive defense at trial. Contact us or call us at (915)-221-7462 today! ¡También podemos ayudarte en español!

Posted in: Criminal Defense