Federal Criminal Defense Law Firm in St. Louis, MO. Discovering that you are facing federal criminal charges is scary. But being investigated or arrested does not have to mean it is the end of your life and your freedom. Federal criminal cases are serious but a talented criminal defense lawyer can guide you throughout the case proceedings and fight the federal government’s every attempt to railroad you or punish you unfairly. You have rights, and working with the Combs Law Group federal criminal defense law firm in St. Louis ensures that those rights are protected. If you are being investigated or charged with a federal crime, call our St. Louis-based criminal defense law firm right away at (314) 900-HELP.

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Whether you are accused of a major criminal act or are simply being pursued for conspiracy charges for a crime you did not actually commit due to your involvement with the parties that were responsible for the crime, you need to hire a defense attorney to work on your behalf and defend your rights.

Prior to hiring an attorney and entering into an attorney-client relationship, make sure you do your research and ask questions. Combs Law Group offers free consultations so that you may talk through your situation with a trained criminal defense attorney and make sure you understand your rights, legal options and potential outcomes of your case. Use this time to make sure you trust the lawyer and their law firm to fight for your life.

Do I need to hire a lawyer for my federal criminal charges?

Yes. If you learn you are suspected of a criminal violation of federal law, it is paramount that you consult and hire a federal criminal defense lawyer in the St. Louis area right away. Federal charges are serious, the punishments if convicted are often harsh and the prosecution will have their top agents working to put you away.

The federal criminal court system can be daunting for anyone, including lawyers. With so much on the line, it is careless not to take every precaution possible including hiring a well-equipped criminal defense attorney with the knowledge and experience to defend you in federal court. You need a criminal defense firm in the St. Louis area with a winning track record and familiarity with the federal criminal justice system. Speak to a lawyer from the Combs Law Group federal criminal defense law firm in St. Louis right away. Call (314) 900-HELP or click to contact a federal defense attorney today.

When should I hire a federal criminal defense law firm?

As soon as you learn you are being pursued in a federal criminal case, pick up the phone and call a federal criminal defense law firm right away. Our attorneys are ready to speak to you about your situation at (314) 900-HELP.

  • If you have already been charged with a federal crime, you need to hire a federal criminal defense lawyer immediately. The sooner you retain legal representation, the sooner our federal defense legal team can begin working on your case and protecting your rights. Ideally, you should have a federal criminal defense lawyer on your case before your initial court appearance or arraignment.
  • If you have not yet been charged, you should still hire a federal criminal defense lawyer if:
    • you discover that you are the subject of a federal law enforcement agency investigation;
    • your home or place of business has been searched; or
    • a US. Attorney has sent you a “target” letter.

If you are approached by a federal agent, do not speak to them until you have hired an attorney. Your defense lawyer will jump into action right away once you hire us to represent you. We will guide you through the criminal court process and fiercely protect your rights from the investigation to, if necessary, trial.

What is the Legal Process for a Federal Criminal Case?

Before being charged with a criminal act, you may be a part of a criminal investigation by federal law enforcement. Do not speak to investigators! They will collect any and all information available and do everything they can to use it against you. Instead, contact a federal defense law firm right away.

Remember you have rights during the investigation process, including the:

Your St. Louis, Missouri defense lawyer with Combs Law Group will stand up to federal agents and prosecutors and ensure they do not take advantage of you or violate your legal rights.

Criminal Court Proceedings

  1. Initial appearance — This is your first appearance in court. Whether you are in custody or free, you will go to court and appear before a judge. The judge will inform you of your rights, which includes your right to a lawyer. They will appoint a lawyer for you if you are unable to hire one on your own. Depending on your federal criminal charges, the judge may grant bail at your initial appearance. Otherwise, a detention hearing may be set to determine whether you can be granted bail.
  2. Bail hearing — Your next court date, if you have not already been granted bail or release, is known as the detention hearing. In federal criminal cases, the release and detention determinations are made following the Federal Bail Reform Act covered in 18 U.S.C. § 3141. In many cases, your federal criminal defense attorney will present evidence and argue to support the decision that you should be released from federal custody while your case continues. The judge may or may not impose special conditions of your release as a measure to ensure the safety of the community during your release (such as maintaining full-time employment, observing a curfew, etc). There are also certain crimes referred to as presumption cases for which it is presumed that there are no release conditions that would reasonably assure the safety of the community. Presumption cases include crimes with ssentences of 10 or more years including sex crimes against children, drug trafficking, etc. With a dilligent and artful federal defense attorney in St. Louis, MO, you may be able to secure pretrial release even if you are facing charges that are considered presumption cases.
  3. Arraignment — The next appearance in your federal criminal proceedings is the arraignment hearing. When you are arraigned, the judge reads the charges that have been filed against you and confirms that you understand them. You will be asked to enter an inital plea at this time. Your defense lawyer will advise you on how to plea based on your situation and case.
  4. Preliminary hearing — In some cases the court may hold a preliminary hearing. A kind of “mini” trial before the actual trial, the preliminary hearing is when the prosecutor must present their case against you and demonstrate that they have probable cause to charge you with the crime. However, they may be able to use certain evidence that is not admissible during the trial itself. Depending on the hearing, your case may either be advanced or dismissed. You may choose to waive your rigth to a preliminary hearing. Seek the advice of your defense lawyer.
    If you were indicted, there will be no preliminary hearing in your case. In an indictment, a grand jury hears the prosecution’s case in secret and determines whether or not they believe there is enough evidence to charge you with the crime. If so, the jury will hand down an indictment and your case will proceed to pretrail.
  5. Pretrial motions – Before your case goes to trial, both parties have a chance to file and respond to pretrial motions. A common pretrial motion employed by federal criminal defense lawyers is the motion to supress evidence. Your attorney may file to exclude certain evidence. For example, if law enforcement officers performed an illegal search and recovered incriminating evidence as a result, your attorney would file a pretrial motion not to admit the results of the illegal search in your trial.
  6. Plea bargaining — You and your attorney may negotiate with the prosecution to come to an agreement known as a plea bargain. Both parties must agree, but your case may be decided outside of a trial. Often, a plea bargain in a federal criminal case involves the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for the government recommending a less severe sentence. This results in a written agreement. In this case, the next step is a sentencing hearing. If you choose not to agree to a plea bargain, the next step is trial.
  7. Trial — If you do not reach a plea agreement or have your case dismissed beforehand, you will be scheduled for a jury trial. In a federal criminal trial, the government has the burden of proof. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubtthat you are guilty of all elements of the charge(s). Your Combs Law Group federal criminal defense lawyer will prepare extensively for the trial proceedings and will defend you and your rights valiantly using every tool in our arsenal. A jury of your peers must come to a unanimous verdict decision.
  8. Sentencing hearing — In the event that you plead guilty or the jury returns a guilty verdict, you will be scheduled for a court appearance for the purpose of sentencing. Guidelines for what the punishment should be based on the charges exist in the Federal Sentencing Guildelines, but the decision is ultimately up to the judge. You need a skilled negotiator and knowledgeable federal defense attorney to advocate for you at this stage and persuade the judge to pass down a sentence that is reasonable.
  • Reduced

    2nd Degree Murder

    2nd degree murder charges reduced to manslaughter: client only served 60 days house arrest.

    Dismissed

    First Degree Assault and Shooting From A Moving Vehicle

    St. Louis County man has two felony charges dismissed.

    Dismissed

    Domestic Assault and Property Damage

    St. Louis County couple charged with domestic assault both have charges dropped.

Criminal

Reduced

2nd Degree Murder

2nd degree murder charges reduced to manslaughter: client only served 60 days house arrest.

Dismissed

First Degree Assault and Shooting From A Moving Vehicle

St. Louis County man has two felony charges dismissed.

Dismissed

Domestic Assault and Property Damage

St. Louis County couple charged with domestic assault both have charges dropped.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are a set of rules for sentencing federal crimes including felonies and serious misdemeanors. The guidelines, published by the United States Sentencing Commission. Originally written as mandatory sentencing requirements for the purpose of making sure sentences were consistent for defendants convicted of a given criminal charge, Federal Sentencing Guidelines are no longer mandatory.

Federal judges are to calculate and consider the sentence suggested in the Guidelines but that is all they are — suggestions. Looking into the Guidelines and using tools like a Federal Sentencing Guidelines calculator can help you get an idea of what you might be facing if convicted, but the actual sentence you receive is ultimately up to the judge deciding your case.

Though the guidelines may not necessarily reflect what a judge ultimately decides, it can be a reality check that helps put things into perspective. Federal criminal charges are very serious and you absolutely must hire an experienced federal criminal attorney from a reputable defense law firm in the St. Louis area right away after you discover that you are being investigated for or accused of a federal crime. Speak to the talented federal criminal defense lawyers of Combs Law Group in St. Louis today. Call (314) 900-HELP now or send us a message online.

  • I'm not surprised that Combs Law Group has a 5 out of 5 stars on Google. I was fortunate enough to find Chris through a friend, who had hired Chris as his DWI lawyer in Maryland Heights. He came highly recommended and so I went and met him and I found him to be really helpful right from the start. I could tell that he was going to take care of me and help get me out of the legal problems I was facing. I would definitely hire Chris again if I was in need of a criminal defense lawyer in St. Louis. Thanks, Chris!

    — Anthony Nicoletti

  • I cannot begin to thank Chris enough for his dedication and expertise in assisting me with a legal matter. The outcome could not have gone any better. He made me feel comfortable in knowing he was giving 100% to assist me! Thank you Chris for your intuitiveness and intelligence in handling my legal matter!

    — Mikhail Lin

  • I would like to take this as an opportunity to commend and thank the Combs Law Group. Mr. Combs recently represented me for a speeding ticket that I received in St. Louis while on a business trip. Mr. Combs was prompt and efficient with our correspondence regarding the matter, and was able to get the ticket dismissed. I highly recommend Mr. Combs and will refer him to any of my colleagues in need of his services.

    — Alexander F. Rek

  • Chris has been my attorney for years now and has always gone above and beyond for me. Anything I have needed him to do he has made it happen for me and many people I have recommended him to. The choice of a lawyer is an important one and Chris has always taken great care of me. Highly recommended!!

    — Benjamin Serkes

Get Help with Your Federal Charges: Call Our Federal Criminal Defense Law Firm Now

The federal government has all their best people and a seemingly infinite amount of resources on their side. Balance the scales by hiring an experienced, dedicated federal criminal defense attorney in St. Louis. Quality legal representation could be the difference between beating the charges and years behind bars in federal prison. There is no time to waste. Reach our law firm online now or pick up the phone and call (314) 900-HELP.