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Fighting Federal Charges in Southern California

handcuffs You may have thought nothing of it at the time. It was a simple transaction with your insurance company that ended up saving you a few dollars. Did you explain the entire situation, or bend the truth a little? Maybe. But who was it going to hurt, and who would find out? Unfortunately, you may have committed mail or insurance fraud - both felonies. Without knowing, you committed a federal crime.

But help is available. At Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we have represented people facing federal charges throughout Orange County and Southern California. If you've been accused of drug trafficking, mail fraud, or tax evasion, you can't afford to settle with just any criminal defense attorney. You need a firm with the track record and the dedication to make sure you get the best possible outcome. To contact a skilled Orange County federal crime attorney, call our law firm at (714) 530-9690 or toll-free at (888) 478-8999.

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Federal vs. State Crimes

Federal and state jurisdiction often overlap in Orange County courts, however, there are important differences. Crimes that are charged on a state level often involve a violation of a specific state law and are subject to local rules regarding penalties and rehabilitation. In contrast, federal laws have a much broader dominance in our lives and most of us are not even aware of them. Generally, a federal crime can involve:

  • Federal land, such as a national park, military base, Indian reservation, or federal agency
  • Committing a criminal act that physically crosses a state line
  • Criminal conduct that crosses state lines, such as internet crimes
  • Violations of customs and immigration

Unlike state crimes, federal crimes are overseen by federal judges, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and investigated by federal officers, such as the FBI, DEA, or U.S. Marshals Services. These elements often see fewer cases when compared to state crimes, meaning your case may have an extended timeline. In addition, federal convictions must abide by federal sentencing guidelines, which may lead to serious consequences.

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The Consequences of a Federal Conviction

The federal sentencing guidelines provide a framework for federal courts to determine how a federal crime is charged. These guidelines place each federal crime into one of 43 offense levels and each defendant into one of six criminal history categories. Both are evaluated over the course of your trial and can determine how you sentenced. This can be rather confusing for most defendants who may not understand what penalties they may receive until the end of their trial, but an experienced attorney can review their case and evaluate the available evidence to provide a general idea about how they can be punished.

Factors that can influence how you are sentenced include:

  • Was anyone injured in the course of the crime?
  • How much money was involved in the situation?
  • How old were you when you committed the crime?
  • Have you been convicted of a federal crime before? What is your criminal history?
  • Were you able to help federal investigators in the course of their investigation and to what degree?

These are just a few of the potential point factors that may come into play during your trial. With that understood, what makes these points so critical? During the sentencing phase, the judge overseeing your case will weigh your point score and then determine your sentence. The greater the score, the more severe the punishment. Understanding this and hiring a skilled OC federal criminal defense attorney will go a long way in helping your case.

While penalties will vary depending on the point system, you may also have to contend with specific regulations about minimum sentencing. Federal convictions require a defendant serve at least 85% of the sentencing before they can be released, meaning if you are sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison, you may have to serve 8.5 before you can be released on parole. That is why fighting these charges is extremely important, as you will not be eligible for most alternative sentencing programs in the state of California that could lighten your sentence.

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Defense for Different Types of Federal Crimes

Orange County criminal defense attorneys at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti have been providing aggressive counsel for people accused of federal crimes for years. We have extensive experience in the following:

If you have been accused or charged with any of the above crimes, or any other federal law, contact our office soon as possible. The sooner our team is able to begin researching your case and building a defense around it, the better your odds will be at securing a favorable outcome. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (714) 530-9690 or (888) 478-8999.

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Experience You Can Rely on in Orange County

Law Office of Michael L. Guisti has practiced law at the U.S. District Courts located throughout Orange County since 1999. This kind of understanding and awareness of local courts can make an enormous difference when it comes to your case. If you have been accused or charged with any of the above crimes, or any other federal law, contact our office as soon as possible. The sooner our team is able to begin researching your case and building a defense around it, the better your odds will be at securing a favorable outcome. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today at (714) 530-9690 or (888) 478-8999.

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Additional Information

Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

(714) 530-9690

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Client Reviews

“It was strongly recommended that I call federal defense attorney Michael L. Guisti. He had several investigators look at records and such, and my federal case was dismissed. Michael Guisti does what few attorneys can do, beat the federal government, and that is why if you’re in trouble with the government you need to call Michael Guisti right away!”

- G.O. on


“I had everything to lose, my future, my education. Basically I did something that got me a misdemeanor, and the judge wanted to give a guilty plea. But Michael Guisti would not back down. Instead he fought for me, and now my record is clean.”

- Client on


“Back in 2003 I was facing attempted murder. My family hired Michael Guisti to represent me. He is a very good attorney. He always answered my calls, addressed my questions and concerns, and kept me updated about my case. Thank you Michael Guisti for winning my case. I highly recommend anyone facing a criminal charge to see Michael Guisti.”

- J.D. on


Case Results

sex crimes

Case Dropped

Young man charged and arrested for sexual battery.


Case Dropped

Man charged with assault with a deadly weapon for hitting someone in the face with a heavy metal dust pan.

drug crimes

Served Less Than 30 Days in Jail

Young man charged with selling 1000 tabs of ecstasy to undercover officer.

Attempted Murder

Reduced to Assault With Deadly Weapon

Young man knocks the eye out his victim with a metal pipe. Charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. Both cases carried life sentences.

Assault & Battery

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Woman arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon using scissors on a co-worker.

Vehicular Assault

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Man charged with three felony counts of vehicular assault with a deadly weapon.


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OC Federal Crime Lawyer Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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