Federal court is an entirely different court system, with different laws, evidentiary rules, procedures, courthouses, and judges. When you face federal charges, you need someone who has experience with federal law and courts. Your lawyer has to be ready and able to represent someone in federal court. Michael Fayard is admitted to the U.S. District Court of Hawaii, as well as federal courts in Florida, Kentucky, and Colorado.
To be brought up on charges in a federal court, it has to have jurisdiction, which can happen in several ways:
Some crimes can only be handled in state court because the offense is a violation of state law and doesn’t involve federal law, property, or authorities in any way. For example, possession of drugs is generally handled in Hawaii court, unless the drugs were sent through the mail or a bank wire was for the purchase.
Sometimes, state and federal courts both have jurisdiction over an offense. You could be charged in Hawaii court or federal court. Drug trafficking charges are a good example. When a trafficking case involves large quantities of drugs being moved between countries or states, it typically heads to federal court. Where the case goes depends on the prosecutors.
Other times, federal court solely has jurisdiction because the conduct violates a federal statute. Good examples are tampering with mail handled by the U.S. Post Office, tax evasion, or immigration violations.
Hiring a federal criminal lawyer can be important even if your case starts in state court. It’s not uncommon for a case to start with local officials only to be transferred to the federal court system when federal authorities realize they have jurisdiction. Why is that? Federal law is known for harsh charges. When prosecutors want to look tough on crime, they’ll use federal law whenever possible.
It’s important to hire an attorney licensed to practice in federal court. Not all attorneys can represent you there. Your lawyer should be experienced with federal laws. They are different from Hawaii’s laws. How offenses are defined and punished vary considerably. When your case is in federal court, or there’s a chance it will go there, you need someone like Michael Fayard, who isn’t dealing with federal crimes and sentencing for the first time.
Federal courts work differently than Hawaii’s state courts. The rules and procedures are different. You shouldn’t work with a lawyer who’s navigating this system for the first time. Michael Fayard has years of experience in federal courts, and you can be confident he won’t make avoidable mistakes.
Michael was co-counsel representing a maritime worker that was injured when a negligent employee struck him in the head with a bell hammer attached to a crane. Pre-trial offer was $0.00.
SR v. TS, et al. – I represented an elderly client that was the injured and was the victim of fraud and theft by thieves using a forged power of attorney and forged deed. Pre-trial offer was $2,500.00.
Federal criminal defense attorney Michael Fayard can represent in all federal cases, including:
There are several steps in the federal court process. You can and should have a federal crimes lawyer throughout them all.
- Cliff T
Federal judges use the federal sentencing guidelines to determine an appropriate sentence—though the guidelines aren’t mandatory.
These guidelines can be confusing. It helps to consult a lawyer when you want an honest assessment of what you’re facing. You can count on Michael Fayard to tell you what you’re up against.
In the guidelines, most federal offenses are assigned to an offense level. There are 43 levels. The more serious the crime, the higher the offense level. When convicted, you’re assigned to a criminal history category based on your based convictions. There are six categories. Category I is for people with the least serious records, while Category VI is for those with the most serious criminal records. Then, the point at which your offense level and criminal history category meet on the sentencing table gives the judge a guide for an appropriate sentence.
This is a simplified explanation of the sentencing guidelines. But it should give you an idea of how complicated they can be. Numerous factors can impact the offense level and criminal history category you’re assigned, which then influences your likely punishment. It’s a good idea to talk with a federal defense attorney about the sentencing guidelines and when judges can and will depart from them.
Yes, it’s possible to be charged with a federal court crime when you were previously convicted in state court for a crime arising out of the same conduct. In general, federal guidelines discourage prosecutors from doing this. It’s not an efficient use of the court’s time and resources.
If you’ve already been convicted and punished for criminal conduct, there are few reasons for the federal government to try and do the same. But it can and sometimes does happens. It’s more likely you’d face federal charges if you were acquitted of the charges in state court.
If there’s any chance you’ll be charged with a federal crime, it’s time to call a criminal defense attorney who can represent you in federal court. A local criminal attorney who isn’t licensed in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii isn’t helpful. By hiring Michael Fayard, you have someone to represent you in state or federal court—or both. He can follow your case, wherever prosecutors take it.
To talk with him about your situation and how he can help, use the online contact form or call (808) 445-6708. We offer free initial consultations.