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Get Your Questions Answered

Last updated on November 16, 2023

Attorney Matthew J. Mankey of the Mankey Law Office in Golden Valley, Minnesota, has extensive experience defending clients against federal criminal charges. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, he is prepared to answer your questions if you face a federal investigation or criminal charge.

Early legal counsel can be critical in federal cases. Contact our law office to schedule a free and confidential legal consultation with Mr. Mankey. Call 612-424-9454 now.

Mr. Mankey has represented clients in the Minneapolis and the western suburbs-area federal district courts as well as the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

Federal Crimes FAQ

What is the difference between a Minnesota state and federal crime?

A Minnesota state crime is a violation of a state statute or an ordinance passed by a local authority. A federal crime is a violation of a federal statute, put into place by the U.S. Congress. When a crime involves the crossing of state borders, it will often be prosecuted as a federal offense. These crimes can include drug trafficking, weapons offenses and human trafficking. The federal government tends to target violent crimes and drug offenses, but many crimes can be prosecuted by either the state or federal courts.

If I am facing federal criminal charges or am under federal investigation, do I need a federal criminal defense attorney?

Yes, and fast. Find a lawyer who is either licensed to practice in the federal court where your case is pending or able to obtain permission for your case. Not all criminal defense attorneys are well-qualified to handle federal cases. The federal justice system is very different from the Minnesota state justice system. You can benefit from working with a federal trial lawyer who has experience successfully handling cases like yours. It is important to talk to an attorney as soon as you know you are under investigation for a federal offense.

What are the federal sentencing guidelines?

Federal sentencing guidelines are promulgated by the United States Sentencing Commission. However, each federal judicial district decides what it will prosecute and how it will implement the guidelines. Some factors may allow for reduced sentences, and experienced federal criminal defense attorneys know how to best seek downward departures and variances from the guidelines. However, federal sentences are still generally more severe than those imposed by state courts, and federal prison sentences do not have parole. Those convicted can expect to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. The federal sentencing guidelines allow harsh penalties, using a system that typically takes into account the offense, your record, how much money was involved (in the case of a financial crime) and other factors.

Can I avoid a conviction?

This depends on the circumstances of your case and the quality of your legal counsel. If you have been linked to a federal crime, retain an attorney who knows how to work productively with prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office to achieve the best outcome possible. Your defense attorney should investigate your arrest as well as every piece of evidence to determine if there are grounds for a dismissal. If investigators violated your constitutional rights at any time, it may be possible to ask a judge to dismiss the charges or to get certain evidence thrown out. In other cases, your lawyer should be prepared to fight for the best possible results at trial or in negotiations with prosecutors.

Should I cooperate with investigators?

Contact a federal crimes lawyer as soon as you know you are under investigation. Your attorney will let you know when it is and is not a good strategy to cooperate with police. Retaining a good attorney early on can make a critical difference in the outcome of your case. Keep in mind that investigators are not on your side no matter what they say. Anything you say can be used against you. Schedule a free and confidential consultation with attorney Matthew J. Mankey.