On Saturday, October 11, Frisco attorney James P. Whalen made his second appearance on 1190’s Ask the Experts radio show to talk about his experiences in Texas criminal defense. On the show, Whalen spoke about the various phases of federal criminal prosecution that people should be aware of so that you can understand what may happen if you find yourself under the scrutiny of law enforcement officials.

What are these phases? He mentioned six: investigation, being charged, arrest and bail, the trial, sentencing, and the appeals process. Unfortunately, he only managed to go into detail on the first three phases before his time ran out.

There’s quite a bit more information if you listen to the broadcast in its entirety, but here are a few highlights.

Investigation.

The government has a number of different ways to investigate you if they believe that you are guilty of a federal crime. These include things like search warrants, wiretaps, GPS monitors, undercover informants, confidential informants, target letters, recorded phone calls from co-defendants, and subpoenas.

Being charged.

There are two ways that you can be charged with a federal crime: by complaint, and by indictment. The only real difference is that those charged under a complaint have the right to a preliminary hearing where probable cause has to be proven and you may or may not be allowed out on bail. Those charged under an indictment are only entitled to an initial appearance.

Arrest and bail.

Federal arrests are different than state. In state arrests, you are taken to jail and held until bail is decided. When you pay, you get out until the trial. This isn’t necessarily what happens in federal cases. The government doesn’t have to seek detention, so it is quite possible that arrestees will be out on pre-trial release without paying a bond for bail. But for the large percentage of people who do get detained, there is no bail. Whether or not this happens depends on two questions:

  1. Are you a flight risk?
  2. Are you a danger to the community?

To listen to the interview in its entirety, use the audio player below or click here to download the file. If you need a Texas criminal defense lawyer, you can reach James P. Whalen through the contact form at the left or by calling 855-892-1932.