Federal Court Resources for Las Cruces Residents Facing Theft Charges

Retail Shoplifting. Man Stealing In Supermarket. Theft At Shop

Facing federal theft charges can be a daunting experience, and the federal criminal justice system is far from intuitive and user-friendly. For residents of Las Cruces, facing federal legal challenges may be overwhelming, leaving you and your loved ones grappling with an uncertain future and unsure of where to turn for assistance. Thankfully, there are many federal court resources aimed to help individuals understand and navigate the federal court system in Las Cruces. Understanding these resources and how to access them can play a huge role in the overall outcome of your case.

Understanding Federal Theft Charges

Before exploring the federal court resources available to individuals facing federal theft charges, it’s vital to understand the nature of federal theft charges and what qualifies as a federal theft charge. Theft is one of many terms that carries one meaning in everyday conversation (generally, taking something of value without someone else’s permission) but means something entirely different in a legal sense. While theft legally means the unlawful taking or misappropriation of property, there isn’t a singular federal charge of theft. Theft is the umbrella term that a large number of federal crimes fall under, including but not limited to:

  • Embezzlement
  • Identity theft
  • Bank fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Theft of government property
  • Interstate theft
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Organized retail theft
  • Counterfeiting
  • Money laundering
  • Credit card fraud
  • Securities fraud
  • Tax evasion
  • Racketeering
  • Insurance fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Trade secret theft

Theft offenses prosecuted at a federal level go beyond state-level theft charges in terms of value, sophistication, and the number of individuals involved. These offenses often carry severe penalties including lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines, with the potential for a federal felony on your criminal record. Fortunately, there are many federal resources available to individuals accused of federal theft crimes, so they can reach the best possible outcome in their case. By far, the most important resource of all is an experienced Las Cruces federal defense attorney.

1. Legal Representation: a Federal Public Defender of a Private Las Cruces Federal Defense Attorney

When facing criminal charges, individuals have the absolute right to an attorney. However, that absolute right doesn’t extend to having a public defender appointed to their case. Individuals have to qualify as “indigent”, or unable to afford the services of a private criminal defense attorney. In those cases, individuals will have their representation provided by a public defender, in whole or in part subsidized by the government. Where federal theft charges are concerned, individuals who cannot afford private defense attorneys will be represented by the federal public defender. While little to no personal cost is a huge bonus to choosing a federal public defender, there are certain drawbacks. Federal public defenders are often overworked, and cannot dedicate a great deal of time or resources to handling any individual case. While they’re often experienced, the alleged offender cannot choose which public defender they’d like to work with, and the public defender may not be able to meet with the accused until shortly before – if not the day of – the start of legal proceedings. 

While a private Las Cruces federal criminal defense attorney does come with a price tag, the age-old adage “you get what you pay for” does ring true. You’ll get to pick which attorney you most align with, will have greater access to that attorney, and your attorney will be able to dedicate considerable time and resources to your defense. You’ll have experienced representation at every stage of the process, and with the Benjamin Law Firm, you’ll have a skilled and seasoned attorney’s personal cell phone number to address any concerns as they arise.

2. Pretrial Services

Upon arrest, individuals facing federal theft charges are considered to be in the “pretrial phase” as they await their trial. At this juncture, alleged offenders have access to services offered by their local pretrial services agency. This agency will conduct an assessment to evaluate the risk the defendant poses and will provide a recommendation to the court regarding how the offender should await trial. Accused individuals can explore alternatives to incarceration including being released on their own recognizance, supervised release, electronic monitoring, and incarceration. 

Fortunately, individuals facing theft charges aren’t generally seen as a particularly great threat to public safety given the nature of the crime, where the only injuries incurred were financial or to property. Working with an experienced attorney, individuals facing federal theft charges can often effectively demonstrate their commitment to complying with court orders and to staying out of trouble to the pretrial services agency, mitigating any potential flight or public safety risks. This means that most individuals accused of non-violent theft crimes on the federal level can await trial from the comfort of their own home. The pretrial services agency may even offer favorable pretrial diversion programs, allowing the accused to avoid trial altogether.

3. Alternative Dispute Resolution

Under certain circumstances, it may be beneficial for individuals facing federal theft charges to explore alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services. While ADR services are not available in every case, prosecutors may allow the victim and alleged offender to resolve the matter and come to an agreement outside of formal court proceedings, avoiding a conviction and criminal record. With roots in Indigenous teachings, the American criminal justice system is making strides toward restorative justice, where the alleged offender is asked to take accountability for their actions, hear how their actions caused the victim or victims harm, and collaborate to reach a solution where the alleged offender can repay their debt to society and the victim while protecting their future.

Experienced Las Cruces Federal Theft Defense Lawyer: The Benjamin Law Firm

If you or a loved one are facing federal theft charges, the Benjamin Law Firm stands ready to leverage our criminal defense expertise, expansive knowledge, and two decades of experience to ensure you reach the best possible outcome. Trust a leader in the Las Cruces criminal defense community, Brock Morgan Benjamin, who is one of few attorneys 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 in representing clients looking for a favorable plea bargain or looking to clear their name at trial. What sets our team apart is our steadfast commitment to client-centric service, responsive representation, and effective advocacy.

Contact us or call us at (915)-221-7462 so we can get to work putting this matter behind you. We’re ready to start fighting for you today! ¡También podemos ayudarte en español!

Posted in: Criminal Defense