Defending Federal Charges: The Role of a Federal Defense Attorney and the Diverse Legal System in Phoenix and Chandler, Arizona

Defending Federal Charges: The Role of a Federal Defense Attorney and the Diverse Legal System in Phoenix and Chandler, Arizona

Defenses to Federal Crimes

If you are facing charges for a federal crime, the situation can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. To protect your rights and freedom, it is crucial to have a skilled defense attorney who can act quickly and aggressively on your behalf. With over 30 years of experience and a compassionate approach, Seth P. Chazin provides the assertive defense you need to fight federal charges.

Before Trial Defenses

Discovering that you are the subject of a federal criminal investigation can be one of the most stressful moments of your life. Before formal charges are filed, there are a few defenses that can be used to protect your innocence and freedom.

Insanity Defense

If, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, you were unable to comprehend the wrongfulness of a criminal action, you may plead insanity. This defense can be supported by raising the defense of automatism.

Public Authority Defense

You may use the public authority defense if you can show that you participated in covert activity on behalf of a law enforcement official or federal intelligence agency. You must be able to provide the law enforcement or federal intelligence agency involved, as well as the agency member on whose behalf you acted.

Entrapment by Estoppel

You may argue entrapment by estoppel if a government official has actively misled you into a reasonable belief that the criminal conduct you have been charged with is legal.

Vindictive and Selective Prosecution

You are protected from prosecutors who would seek to punish you for exercising, or attempting to exercise, a constitutional right. Vindictive prosecution may involve a prosecutor adding a charge after you withdraw from a plea bargain or indicting you on a new charge after mistrial has occurred.

Outrageous Government Conduct

A claim of outrageous government conduct, also referred to as the "Due Process Defense," asserts that the government has obtained incriminating evidence in violation of due process. If successful, this defense may bar prosecution and have your indictment dismissed.

Improper Venue

If an improper venue has been chosen, you may argue that the court should dismiss your case because it is in an undesirable or unconstitutional location. Usually, the court will move a case to a more appropriate venue, but it is possible to have a case dismissed.

During Trial Defenses

If you are unable to avoid trial, there are a number of defenses you can use to secure the best possible outcome for you in federal court if you are charged with a federal crime.

Alibi Defense

If you were not present at the time when, or at the place where, you were alleged to have committed a crime, you can submit an alibi to prove your innocence. You usually must be able to provide the specific place you were at the time of the alleged offense, as well as contact information for each alibi witness you intend to rely on.

Duress and Necessity Defense

If you were forced to engage in criminal conduct due to threat of violence or actual use of violence, you may argue that you committed the crime under duress. Similarly, if there is an emergency situation, not of your own creation, that compels you to act in a criminal manner to avoid greater harm from occurring, you may argue that you committed the crime under necessity.

Self, Others, and Property Defense

If you engage in what might normally be seen as criminal conduct as a result of attempting to defend yourself or another person from an unlawful assault, you are shielded under the law and you may assert self defense or defense of others as an affirmative defense at trial. Under certain circumstances, you may also assert the affirmative defense of defense of property if someone is attempting to steal, encroach on or destroy your property.

Diminished Capacity Defense

If you were intoxicated at the time you committed a crime, you may be able to argue 'diminished capacity,' which asserts that you didn't have the capacity to form the necessary intent to commit the crime. This can result in a significant reduction of your sentence or even an acquittal.

Abandonment and Withdrawal Defense

If you completely and voluntarily withdraw from a criminal act prior to its completion, you may be able to escape liability for that crime. If a government official or agent has harassed or coerced you into committing a crime, you may not be held liable for that crime.

Defenses Based on Intent

The prosecution's case against you relies on their ability to prove that you intentionally and willfully carried out a criminal act. Below are defenses you can use to prove a lack of intent and help reduce your criminal liability.

Automatism Defense

Automatism occurs when a behavior is enacted during a state of unconsciousness, mental dissociation, or lack of full awareness. For example, you would not bear responsibility if you had carried out a crime while sleepwalking.

Mens Rea Defense

"Mens rea" refers to a defendant's mental state during the commission of a crime. If you did not commit a crime knowingly, maliciously, or willfully, your liability for that crime decreases, and your charges may either be dismissed or reduced.

Good Faith Defense

Good faith is a defense against charges of fraud. The government must prove that you acted with specific intent to defraud an individual or business; if unable to prove your intent or willfulness, you are presumed to have acted in good faith, and are not criminally liable.

Advice of Counsel Defense

If you did not intentionally violate the law because you sought advice of counsel prior to acting and acted on that advice, you may not be held fully liable for the criminal conduct.

Misidentification Defense

Misidentification occurs when an eyewitness deliberately or mistakenly identifies you as the perpetrator of a crime. Finding evidence of eyewitness misidentification can be essential to dismissing your case and preserving your innocence.

Lack of Intent Defense

If you committed an act involuntarily or did not intend for a certain consequence to occur, you may be able to raise a defense of lack of intent. This is not always a complete defense, as sometimes you can still be held liable for reckless behavior, but it can result in a significant reduction of your sentence under certain circumstances.

The Case Against the Death Penalty

The death penalty is a contentious issue in the United States, with strong arguments for and against it. As a legal expert, I believe that the death penalty is not only outdated, but also immoral. It is a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration that has become a perverse monument to inequality.

Capital punishment has become a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. It is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us but corrupts us all.

The death penalty is also the enemy of grace, redemption, and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worst act. It is a violent symbol of how we fail to address the causes of violence and instead choose to distract ourselves with claims of "tough on crime" policies.

The death penalty is a lie and it's time we end it for the unjust and immoral system that it is.

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