Once you make your initial appearance in federal court, they will give you your indictment, read you all your constitutional rights, and the judge will either set conditions for you to be released or set no bail. At that point, you are going to be assigned to one of the judges in the district where your case is pending.
Your attorney will usually be given the rules related to that judge. Once there is an appearance, they are going to be setting a status conference and then they are going to set the case for trial within 60 days.
How Can I Win A Federal Criminal Case With Pre-Trial Motions?
There are all sorts of pre-trial motions that can be filed. The way that you could potentially win a case with a motion is if you take some sort of evidence away from the government, whether it is somebody's statement or something that was illegally obtained. Then they no longer have a case left to prosecute you with.
Whether to go to trial or not needs to be discussed with your attorney, after both of you have had a chance to go
over all the evidence and make an informed decision as to what the defense strategy should be.
If you go to trial, you are going to potentially risk many years in federal prison. This is something that absolutely has to be discussed between you and your federal criminal defense attorney.
What Happens If I Am Found Guilty In Federal Court?
Basically, once a person is found guilty, the judge will set a sentencing date. Once that date is set, motions can be filed on behalf of both the defense and the prosecution, and the probation department will interview the defendant and put together a report for the judge to consider.
Before all that is done, it is going to be decided by the judge whether the person is taken into custody or not. Once a person is actually convicted of something, that makes him much more of a flight risk, so the prosecutor may argue that they should be remanded and detained without bail, pending sentencing.
At the sentencing, the judge will consider the defense's position, any objections to the pre-sentence report prepared by the probation department, and anything filed by the government as to what they think the sentence should be. They will hear from the defendant and the defense attorney orally in court and then, finally, they will make the decision based on the federal sentencing guidelines, the person's criminal history, and their own knowledge of the case.