Federal Crimes

Orange County Federal Crimes Attorney

When state criminal laws are broken and someone is arrested, they face criminal charges in state court. However, when the illegal activity involves laws enacted by the federal government, the case can be prosecuted in federal court. When faced with serious consequences, you must employ an experienced Orange County federal crimes attorney. Federal charges carry significant penalties which is why you need a lawyer that will stand up to the government and protect your rights.

Central District        Eastern District of California         Southern District of California

Many attorneys do not practice in federal court. Namely, because federal law has a different set of rules and procedures than California state court. Federal prosecutors have unlimited resources to ensure that charges ultimately lead to a conviction. The evidence is ordinarily voluminous consisting of reports from federal agents, audio and video recordings, and financial statements. Therefore, it is important to retain a federal crimes attorney who can devote the time and resources to mounting your defense.

Overview of Federal Criminal Charges

All federal crimes are charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and typically by way of indictment. A person is charged by way of an indictment after a federal prosecutor presents their case to the grand jury. An indictment is a charging document that the grand jury returns when it concludes that sufficient evidence warrants charging a defendant.

After an indictment or other charging sheet is filed, the defendant makes their initial appearance in federal court before a magistrate judge. The magistrate judge assigns the case to a U.S. district judge for trial within 70 days of the defendant’s initial appearance. Federal charges usually result from a multi-year-long investigation by the FBI, DEA, ATF, IRS, or even local police.


Large-scale cases usually reach the federal level such as arms dealing, large quantity drug trafficking, and financial crimes in the millions of dollars. However, small types of crimes such as lying on a passport application and illegal entry into the United States make their way into the federal system. Furthermore, since state court and federal court are two different sovereigns, a defendant can be charged in both courts for the same offense at the same time.

Early Intervention by an Experienced Federal Crimes Lawyer

Early intervention by an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney could mean the difference between a prison sentence or getting the case rejected entirely from prosecution. We can investigate the facts, question witnesses, employ experts, and obtain evidence government agents never collected. Federal accusations are no laughing matter and they must be treated immediately, much like having symptoms of a life-threatening illness. Do not make the mistake of believing that because you didn’t actually commit any offense, the federal criminal justice system will recognize that and the accusations will somehow go away. Never leave your future and freedom up to chance.

It is never advised for you to speak with federal investigators without a federal criminal defense attorney. Irreparable injury to mounting your defense usually results from talking to agents without counsel present. Moreover, the government may seek to contact you about obtaining information to help further their investigation. By revealing pertinent information, you may lose bargaining power with federal prosecutors. Instead, let our office do the talking on your behalf and explain your side of the story meanwhile preserving your constitutional rights.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

A federal sentencing hearing is arguably one of the most important hearings in a criminal case. The appropriate sentence in the eyes of the court is usually determined by the federal sentencing guidelines. With the right attorney, a defendant could argue for a substantially lesser sentence below the suggested guidelines by articulating their background, character, criminal history, and the likelihood of reform.

Additionally, someone may be eligible for sentencing reductions if certain mitigating factors are present. A lawyer unfamiliar with the sentencing guidelines could be exposing their client to more incarceration time than necessary.

Resolving a case without a trial sometimes is the best option. In that case, effectively negotiating with federal prosecutors is essential. Accordingly, our participation can contribute to achieving the ultimate goal of a fair sentence. This includes:

  • Negotiating significant terms of the plea agreement
  • Obtaining bail/release on bond
  • Assisting in the probation officer interview
  • Submitting a detailed sentencing memorandum
  • Advocating a fair and light sentence at your hearing

Whether you decide to litigate your federal case or enter into plea agreement negotiations, it is first important to understand your overall exposure. Certain offenses carry significant penalties if convicted. Moreover, some firearm and drug offenses carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 to 20 years. Generally, factors that may warrant a harsh sentence include:

  • Whether you possess a firearm in connection with your drug case;
  • Your prior criminal history for violence or a serious drug offense(s);
  • The purity of the controlled substance and/or the quantity;
  • The amount of economic loss to an individual or business;
  • Any planning or sophistication involved in the offense;
  • Whether you are a leader, organizer, or decision-maker.

Who We Defend in Federal Court

We have successfully defended our clients who unfortunately find themselves within the federal criminal system. Our clients include police officers, college professors, attorneys, medical doctors, and military personnel. We strive to achieve noteworthy results for every client and spend the time and resources to ensure each client receives an effective defense.

Recent Case Results in Federal Court

  • Client Charged with Money Laundering Conspiracy – CASE DISMISSED: Our client was charged in a 25-defendant conspiracy involving drug trafficking and money laundering. After a thorough investigation into the law enforcement officers involved in the case, we produced damaging information to the U.S. Attorney that discredited the law enforcement officers. As a result, the charges were completely dismissed.
  • Drug Trafficking Out of LAX Airport: Our client was charged with drug trafficking after attempting to transport several kilos of methamphetamine onto an airplane in Los Angeles. By explaining our client’s unique background and mitigating circumstances, the judge agreed to sentence our client to time served notwithstanding our client was facing over 10 years in federal prison.
  • Attorney Under Investigation for Fraudulent Payment Scheme: Our client was a southern California attorney under investigation for aggravated identity theft, embezzlement, and coordinating a bankruptcy scheme. Despite the FBI telephone recording our client on several pretext phone calls, Attorney John D. Rogers was able to successfully convince the prosecutor to drop the investigation and close the case.
  • Client Charged with Assaulting 2 FBI Agents on Video: Surveillance video footage showed our client in a scuffle with FBI agents that resulted in one of the agents suffering bodily injury. After highlighting our client’s background, personal character, and familial repercussions in the event a lengthy sentence is imposed, our office was able to convince the federal prosecutor to drop the case to a single misdemeanor charge. Thereafter, our client received probation with no jail time.
  • Client Charged with Money Laundering Over $1 Million: Our client was charged with laundering money for a large-scale drug cartel out of Los Angeles. We convinced the judge that our client should receive a lesser sentence after exposing his difficult childhood and how a prison sentence would jeopardize the livelihood of his family. Our client received a probation sentence with NO JAIL TIME despite the federal sentencing guidelines recommending 33 months in prison.

Contact an Experienced Orange County Federal Crimes Attorney

While most lawyers are competent to handle basic criminal matters, it is much different within the federal court system. Retaining the wrong lawyer could result in greater punishment than necessary. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers to speak with an effective and experienced Orange County federal crimes attorney who routinely handles federal criminal cases.[1] The sooner you get in touch with our office, the sooner we can become involved in protecting your rights, family, and future.

The government will utilize all its resources to ensure a case ends with a conviction or guilty plea. Consequently, retaining the right federal defense lawyer to defend you is paramount. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation.


[1] Our office is conveniently located in Newport Beach, but we also service the following localities: Orange County, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Anaheim, Yorba Linda, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Placentia, Lakewood, Fullerton, Tustin, Dana Point, Laguna Nigel, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Aliso Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Long Beach, Pomona, Bellflower, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento.

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