Frisco criminal attorney James P. Whalen recently appeared on the Ask the Experts radio show on 1190 AM to give listeners some insight into the laws that encompass white collar crimes. He plans to return to the radio show on a monthly basis to share his experiences and help listeners however he can.

Below are just a few highlights that he covered.

Differences between state and federal court. The main difference is in sentencing. State court has more options – everything from probation to prison time – and in a Texas state court, the jury can assess punishment. This isn’t the case in federal court. The judge always assesses punishment, and it’s always based on U.S. sentencing guidelines, which are much more structured than state guidelines. Technically, these guidelines aren’t mandatory anymore, but most judges still tend to follow them.

Sentencing guidelines have changed. Drug sentencing is by far where the biggest change has occurred in recent years. There used to be a 100-to-1 difference between drug sentences for crack and powder cocaine – crack obviously being on the harsher side of that equation. But now that unfortunate discrepancy is gone and currently almost all drug punishments are being lessened due to the high percentage of people in jail for drug charges.

Representing yourself in federal court. It’s possible, but not recommended because you’re going up against experienced government professionals. It’s way too easy to make a mistake because nonprofessionals just don’t know the law well enough and the court has no obligation to make sure you understand all of the rules and implications.

Need Help from a White Collar Crime Lawyer?

This is just the tip of the iceberg. To listen to the interview in its entirety, use the audio player below or click here to download the file. And if you need a white collar crime lawyer, contact James P. Whalen immediately here or at 855-892-1932.