Federal Crimes

All Federal Cases & Investigations


We are experienced, we work hard, we care, and we get the best results.

Criminal accusations can be devastating unless dealt with in a discrete, sensitive, professional manner. Let a specialist & our team of experienced Investigators & Experts help you. Federal cases are different than state cases. Many experienced state defense attorneys do not know what they are doing in federal court. For over 30 years, we have represented people in federal cases from New York to Hawaii, and all federal courts in California including Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Detention or “Bail”

You cannot call a bailbond company and bail your loved one out of federal custody. There is a different system of release. The federal courts conduct detention hearings to determine if a person can be released. Sometimes the Court requires collateral such as property, and sometimes signatures of family members will suffice. In some cases, there is a legal presumption that the person stays in custody while facing the charges. We have recently successfully argued for the release of our clients pending trial in the following cases: conspiracy to sell 100 kilograms of cocaine and a 4,000+ images of child pornography case. We overcame the oppressive federal presumption of detention and achieved the release of our clients.

Sentencing Guidelines

The Guidelines are a calculated number of months based upon the offense and criminal history. They are mathematical and impersonal. See table. The problem is that these Guidelines come out of Washington D.C. and are politically influenced. Many federal crimes carry big mandatory minimums. For example, downloading child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of five years. Possession of five kilograms of cocaine carries a mandatory minimum of ten years. The same coke case with a prior state drug case can carry a minimum of twenty years. In cases involving money, the amount of jail time relates to the amount of money stolen. This can all add up to some truly big numbers. Sentencing memorandums and motions are an art form in themselves. Often they can make the difference in years of incarceration. Oral argument at sentencing is crucial; You need a skillful, courageous and experienced federal criminal attorney

Plea Bargains and the Judge

There are no behind the scenes negotiations with the Judge and attorneys as in state courts. There is no changing Judges as in state court. There is no simple disqualification of a Judge. You stay with whatever Judge is randomly selected for your case unless, as we have done, you change venue (e.g. from Fresno to Oakland)- then you may get an entirely different outcome. In the federal courts, plea bargains are often very vague. They say “this might be your sentence” but maybe it will be something totally different. We can take the guess work out of your plea.

Motions to Dismiss

Motions to dismiss indictments, suppress evidence and reveal informants. Are all legal ways to win your case. Wiretapping? Illegal Use of Informants? The feds like to wiretap to get evidence. This can be a gross violation of privacy. Perhaps wiretaps were based on pure speculation, with no probable cause. We often show that our clients were arrested as a result of false information or evidence gathered through wrongful use of wiretaps or illegal use of questionable informants.

Seizures and Forfeitures

People charged with federal crimes such as drug offenses or racketeering (RICO) often experience aggressive seizures and forfeitures by federal agents. Forfeiture cases involve both civil and criminal law: the government seizes money, a car, a house, or other property when a defendant is accused of certain criminal acts. Many people have not been able to get this property back even when they were exonerated. Our federal crimes lawyers are experienced at fighting both criminal charges and civil side of forfeiture. We fight the alleged connection between the alleged criminal activity and your seized or forfeited property. We will fight to help you recover your hard-earned money or property.


Federal extradition is a very specialized area of federal practice. Federal extradition means the government is trying to send you or your loved one to a foreign country to face criminal charges. Recently we represented a former Catholic priest in a high profile case involving the U.S. statute of limitations on sex molestation cases and the Republic of Ireland.

Protecting Constitutional Rights in Gun-Related Cases

Perhaps your federal charges include gun-related offenses. We are prepared to assert your constitutional right to bear arms. We are prepared to fight the illegal search and seizure of any weapons. Even if you are a felon, you still retain your rights against unreasonable search and seizure.


A federal indictment can cause extreme anxiety. Sometimes pleading guilty is the wrong thing to do. We go to trial. Thorough preperation, vigorous cross examination and inspired argument can save the day. Call for a free consultation to discuss what is best for you.


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    State Certified Specialists
    Robert Beles - State Certified Criminal Law Specialist
    Anne Beles - State Certified Criminal Law Specialist
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    Call Us at (510) 210-3056 or (925) 201-6452

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