Federal Criminal Defense

If the Feds Prosecute It, We Defend It

Our federal experience is both deep and wide. We have been representing people charged with federal crimes across the U.S. since 1995. Mark’s first jury trial ever was a bank robbery before Judge Rosenthal in U.S. District Court in Houston.

Our federal defense practice runs the gamut. We have defended numerous fraud cases, money-laundering cases, drug conspiracies, and bank robberies. Federal prosecutions can cover any sort of crime, but most often involve drugs, guns, fraud, or immigration violations.

If the feds prosecute it, we defend it.

A Stacked Deck

Federal prosecutors get to pick their prosecutions. Not every case that could “go federal” goes federal, and the difference is not the magnitude of the case, but rather how easily it can be proven. Rarely will a federal prosecutor pick a fight that she doesn’t think she can easily win. Good for them, not so good for their targets.

But there is sometimes a wide gulf between “thinking they can win” and “winning.” They don’t always get it right, and it is the criminal-defense lawyer’s job to make that gulf wider.

Federal Jury Trials

In federal court, as in state court, the accused has the right to a jury trial. Most defendants do not avail themselves of this right, though. The sentencing guidelines are designed so that punishment may be much more severe after a defendant loses a jury trial than it would have been if he had pled guilty, and the prosecutor has a great deal of control over the sentence, so that a defendant has more of an incentive to plead guilty in federal than in state court. As a result, about 90% percent of federal defendants plead guilty rather than go to trial.

Too Many Guilty Pleas

At Bennett & Bennett, we believe that too many people plead guilty. It’s not good for them, and it’s not good for the country: A system without jury trials is an unhealthy system.

Why does this happen? In part it is driven by the criminal-defense bar. It’s not hard to call yourself a federal criminal-defense lawyer, and many lawyers who claim to be federal practitioners have tried very few cases to juries. Too many lawyers are adverse to jury trials, and we’ve heard lawyers tell their clients, “Nobody ever wins.”

That is nonsense.

At Bennett & Bennett we don’t win them all, and we can’t guarantee that we will win yours, but we win enough to know that we can win, and knowing that we can win, we can keep fighting and encouraging our clients to fight.

The fight begins with the detention hearing, and ends only with dismissal, acquittal, or sentencing. So if you are facing federal charges and want someone willing to fight for you, call Bennett & Bennett at 713-224-1747.

Houston Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Bennett & Bennett