Cleveland Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Cleveland Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are arrested for any criminal offense, it can be a scary and distressing situation for several reasons. However, the stakes are much higher if you are arrested for a federal criminal offense. This means a federal law enforcement agency has built a case against you, and you will need the help of an experienced Cleveland federal criminal defense lawyer to build the strongest possible defense in this situation.

Cleveland Federal Crime Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

Federal crimes are serious offenses with harsh penalties, unique sentencing guidelines, and stringent court procedures. As such, it is crucial to consult with a highly competent Cleveland federal crime attorney like Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. as soon as possible when charged with a federal crime.

The Fortress Law Group approaches every case we accept with the goal of helping our client understand the legal mechanisms in play and building the strongest possible defense against the charges filed by the prosecution. You may have more defenses available to you than you realize, and we can help capitalize on them as your case unfolds. You can expect compassionate and responsive legal counsel from our team through every stage of your case.

Types Of Federal Crimes

As an experienced Cleveland federal crime attorney, Matthew Bangerter represents clients in all types of federal (and state) criminal cases, including:

  • Drug crimes, including trafficking or importation, drug conspiracy, and drug manufacturing. If you are charged with participating in any illegal drug operation that crosses state lines, it is likely that one or more federal law enforcement agencies have built a case against you.
  • White collar crimes, including embezzlement, forgery, bribery, corruption, money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy. These crimes, though typically nonviolent in nature, are serious financial offenses that often involve many victims. Penalties for white collar crimes can be severe, and the agencies that build these cases typically do not move to arrest suspects until they are sure they have enough evidence to secure convictions.
  • Sex crimes. Sex-related criminal offenses are some of the most serious charges anyone can face, especially at the federal level. Penalties for conviction may include incarceration in federal court, lifetime sex offender status, heavy fines, and restitution to victims.
  • Violent crimes, including weapons charges. The penalties for violent and/or weapons-related federal offenses are often severe, dictated by the severity of the offense and whether the defendant caused great bodily harm or death with their actions.
  • Parole violations. When an individual is granted parole, they need to follow strict terms and conditions for the duration of the parole period; otherwise, they could go back to prison and face additional penalties. If you are charged with violating parole, you could face prosecution in federal court.
  • Mail fraud. Using the mail system to conduct any type of fraud is a federal offense as it involves the United States Postal Service. It’s possible for many types of fraud to be conducted using the mail, and these cases often involve additional offenses that are financial in nature.
  • Wire fraud. This term can define any type of fraud conducted over the Internet or through telecommunication services. Many agencies may coordinate to build wire fraud cases, especially when multiple defendants act in concert.
  • Tax crimes. Federal tax violations such as evasion and falsifying returns are serious offenses that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prosecutes aggressively. Penalties for tax crimes can be very expensive in terms of fines and penalty assessments, and many defendants could face jail time based on the severity of the offenses they have committed.
  • Internet crimes. Many types of fraud and other crimes committed over the Internet qualify as breaches of federal law even when defendants do not physically cross state lines. These cases are often complex and involve the inherently complicated US cybersecurity laws spanning multiple agencies.

The Fortress Law Group provides responsive and results-driven defense counsel for all types of federal criminal cases. When you choose our firm to represent you, you are investing in a dedicated legal advocate who will take time to listen to your story, identify your greatest opportunities to defend yourself, and determine the optimal strategy for approaching the difficult proceedings ahead of you.

How Federal Crimes Differ From State Crimes

The criminal court procedures for federal criminal charges are different than the criminal procedures for state crimes. For instance, court proceedings for a federal crime are held in a different courthouse than state criminal charges, and federal criminal proceedings are presided over by federal judges.

The federal criminal court procedures can be complicated and often involve a number of federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), Secret Service, Border Patrol, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and/or the Postal Service.

Importance Of Forensic Evidence In Federal Crime

Matthew Bangerter is a highly trained and experienced Cleveland federal crime attorney, so he understands the importance of forensic evidence to criminal cases, especially federal cases. His background gives him an edge when evaluating the forensic evidence involved in a federal case. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology and studied molecular genetics and computer science in graduate school, so he is well-versed in the scientific evidence involved in federal criminal cases.

As a well-connected Cleveland federal crime attorney, Matthew Bangerter also collaborates with highly knowledgeable experts in forensic science, firearms, toxicology, hand writing, computers, accounting, insurance operations, computer technology, and any other applicable disciplines. He carefully analyzes and considers the facts of the case in light of the law and applicable legal theories in order to develop the appropriate legal strategy, while always striving to protect your constitutional rights.

Expungement And Appeals

If you have been improperly convicted of a federal crime, Fortress Law Group can work to launch an appeal of your conviction. The federal criminal court procedure for expungement is complex, but it is possible to have a record of a past charge removed under certain circumstances. The federal criminal court can also handle appeals of convictions from lower courts under certain conditions. An attorney can help with either of these processes as they apply to your situation.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Federal crimes carry stringent sentencing guidelines if you are convicted. In fact, there are federal sentencing guidelines in place that place parameters on the amount of discretion that a judge has when issuing a sentence. Sentences for federal crimes can be harsh, with substantial prison terms, hefty fines, and strict parole requirements.

A skilled Cleveland federal crime attorney like Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. can advocate on your behalf to obtain the most favorable sentence possible through sentence advocacy. Mitigating factors that you may overlook on your own may encourage leniency in sentencing, and you will need an experienced defense attorney’s help to capitalize on any such factors that may be present in your case.

Oftentimes, a judge will consider information regarding a defendant’s personal, family, medical, psychiatric, employment, and financial histories when determining the appropriate sentence within the federal sentencing guidelines. Matthew Bangerter will present information to the judge regarding your character and background to convince the judge to issue a lesser sentence.

Understanding Plea Deals in Federal Criminal Cases

A plea deal could come into play in a federal criminal case if the prosecution believes they have more than enough evidence to secure a conviction and wishes to secure court resources or if they are unsure whether they have sufficient evidence to convict and wish to see if the defendant is willing to accept a plea deal out of desperation. Plea deals are not guaranteed to every defendant, but if one is offered in your case, your attorney can evaluate it for you.

In a plea deal, the prosecution may offer to reduce the defendant’s penalties, suspend a jail sentence, or reduce or drop charges in a multi-count indictment in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty. This will streamline the case significantly, and if the defendant is definitely guilty, it may be their only opportunity to secure a lighter penalty. Your Cleveland federal criminal defense lawyer can help determine if such a deal suits your interests.

What to Expect From Your Cleveland Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

You have the same constitutional rights in a federal criminal case as you would in a state criminal case. This means you still have the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent once you are placed under arrest, and you should exercise this right until you are able to consult with a defense attorney. Do not answer any questions from arresting officers or sign any statements. Remember that anything you say could potentially be used against you.

Your Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel also applies, and it is crucial that you connect with an experienced Cleveland federal criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible after your arrest. They can help determine whether your arrest was lawful, whether due process has been followed, and whether arresting officers violated your constitutional rights. They will examine the evidence and charges against you to help build your defense.

Federal criminal courts typically move more quickly than state courts because these courts hear fewer cases. This also means that more individual attention is given to each case, and you may have a greater opportunity to present your defense than you would in a state criminal case. Ultimately, no defense attorney can ever promise any client a specific outcome, but you can expect responsive and compassionate defense counsel from our team throughout your entire case.

The Fortress Law Group has extensive professional experience representing clients facing federal criminal charges. When you choose our firm to represent your defense, you will have an advocate ready to answer any of your questions and address any concerns as they arise throughout your case. We will do everything we can to help you avoid conviction if possible or secure the lightest possible sentence if necessary.


Q: When Does a Crime Qualify as a Federal Crime?

A: A crime qualifies as a federal crime when the defendant has broken a federal law. It is possible for an offense to be considered criminal at both the state and federal levels, but once it has reached federal crime status, a federal law enforcement agency like the DEA or FBI will typically handle building the case against the defendant. These cases unfold in federal criminal court.

Q: Do I Need to Hire a Cleveland Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Q: Can I Plea Bargain in a Federal Criminal Case?

Q: Can I Avoid Jail Time in a Federal Case?

Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Cleveland Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you have been charged with a federal crime, Cleveland federal crime attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. can help. Click here for an initial consultation. Visit our law office or call (440) 472-1630 to start planning your defense.