What You Need To Know About Federal Criminal Defense
Some things you should know about federal court practice: First, it’s not for everyone, especially lawyers. If the lawyers you are considering have little or no experience in federal court, you should weigh carefully whether their skills will apply with appropriate force in a federal courtroom. Second, if you narrow your search to lawyers with federal criminal defense experience, you’ll probably find yourself choosing between large firms with a history of hiring former federal prosecutors and small firms with a decidedly defense-oriented mindset.
Large Firms: Fees and Culture
Large firms tend to charge substantially larger fees, if only because they assign more lawyers and staff to a given case than smaller firms. Indeed, having a large firm to represent you brings the comfort of counterweight when the government is at the other table in the courtroom. You may also encounter a culture of “cooperation,” which may or may not meet your needs.
Federal Prosecutors and “Cooperation”
Federal prosecutors approach nearly every target seeking his or her “cooperation,” by which they mean your agreement to accept responsibility for a criminal scheme, to plead guilty to a crime, to testify against others involved and ultimately to face the prospect of a prison term, albeit a shorter one than what might have been. Those who refuse to cooperate, or more precisely, assert their innocence, get far different treatment, but they retain their dignity and their constitutional rights to due process of law and a presumption of innocence.
Of course, the choice to fight or cooperate is the client’s, not the lawyer’s. But once you start talking to prosecutors, you have foreclosed your options. We believe every case should be evaluated starting from the perspective of our client’s innocence, not his guilt. If a trial is the best way to establish his defense, we have the expertise to vindicate his rights.
The Importance of Trial Experience and Effective Defense Strategies
Most federal prosecutors have little experience before a jury. Whether owing to the complexity of investigation or the seriousness of the crime charged, relatively few federal cases actually go to trial. Both Jack Furlong and Scott Krasny have ample trial experience in state court, and they have also tried many federal cases to verdict. With literally hundreds of trials under their belt, they know what it takes to prevail in a courtroom.
Perhaps just as importantly, prosecutors know that they know. Often this translates into a measure of credibility during plea negotiations. Jack Furlong and Scott Krasny are not now, nor have they ever been, afraid to go to trial. Not every prosecutor can make that claim. Indeed, among prosecutors and defense attorneys nationally, actual trial competence is a vanishing skill. Experience does matter.
The attorneys at Furlong and Krasny are licensed to practice in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals and are admitted before the United States Supreme Court. Our appellate and post-conviction practice allows us to represent clients from the beginning to the end of their case. Contact our West Trenton, New Jersey, office for a consultation.