Before deciding which consultant is right for you, consider the following:
The only plausible analogy to describe being faced with a federal indictment is learning that you have been diagnosed with a horrible disease – one that few people understand and one there is scattered or little relevant information about. When faced with such a grim diagnosis, what does an intelligent person do?
First, they seek advice and counsel from the best – a specialist – in this case, a qualified and experienced federal defense attorney – one with a proven track record.
The second most important thing a defendant should do is seek the guidance and perspective of someone who has been in their shoes, faced the same fears and challenges that you now find in front of you.
This consultant should not have merely survived this ordeal – they should have taken with them a working knowledge of the federal criminal process and personally experienced every aspect of a federal indictment. Including but not limited to – arrest, pre-trial, trial, sentencing, incarceration, federal prison programs, community custody, supervised release and the rebuilding of life after a period of incarceration.
There is a very deliberate, intricate yet subtle way in which the United States Attorney’s office, Federal Courts, United States Probation Office and Bureau of Prisons work in concert with one another. This consultant must understand how these complexities intertwine and have the ability to analyze, interpret, prepare and utilize raw data acquired from their client to mitigate potential exposure.
When it comes to federal defense consultants there are only a handful of options at your disposal.
Ex-BOP Types – while some of these individuals may be able to provide you with valuable information specific to their previous position (i.e. – staff psychologists, case managers, probation officers, etc.) few have a vast working knowledge of the entire process. None have personally experienced what you are about to go through and chances are that they would merely guide you down the path of least resistance against their former peers.
Other Attorneys – while these individuals may be qualified to help with niche legal matters (i.e. – so called “sentencing specialists”, former defense attorneys or prosecutors) chances are you are already in capable hands with your current counselor. Frankly, most of the non-legal questions or concerns that you and your loved ones have these individuals do not have the knowledge or experience to impart upon you.
Ex-Offenders – here is where you will find the most valuable information – “first-hand” working knowledge, experience and pertinent real world perspectives of how the federal system works. This information can be used at any point of the federal indictment process – pre-post plea/trial, pre-post sentencing and pre-post incarceration. However, you must be extremely careful when determining which individual to obtain this information from.
Before deciding which consultant is right for you and your loved ones, I would recommend that you carefully consider the following questions first:
Has this consultant ever been in my shoes and personally faced a federal indictment?
Does this consultant have any experience taking their case to trial?
Has this consultant ever spent time in a federal prison?
If so, was this consultant able to return to their family in the minimal amount of time possible?
If so, how was this consultant able to reduce their “gross” sentence pre-post sentencing?
Once incarcerated, outside of winning an appeal, receiving a presidential commutation and / or earning good time credits – the only way to reduce a federal prisoner’s sentence is by successfully completing the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). That being said, has this consultant gained entrance into and successfully completed this program?
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions – I would recommend seeking guidance elsewhere, without the first-hand working knowledge and experience to impart upon you, a consultant would be of little value.