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Federal Criminal Defense

At STERN Law, we help non-U.S. Citizens in Atlanta, across Georgia, and nationwide protect against long prison sentences and protect their futures in the USA when they need a federal criminal defense attorney to represent them while simultaneously addressing their immigration concerns to avoid deportation.

Federal Criminal Defense
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Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys for Non-U.S. Citizens and Immigrants in Atlanta and across Georgia

If you face federal criminal charges as an immigrant or a non-U.S. Citizen, you are at risk of severe consequences that include detention in jail, long prison sentences, deportation, and lost opportunities after everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve. The punishment could include deportation, the loss of your progress towards a future in the USA, and the loss of a chance to return and reclaim that future. You must act quickly by contacting a federal criminal defense attorney devoted to your special concerns in light of your immigration status.

At STERN Law, our focus and experience combine a thorough knowledge of criminal law at the state and federal levels with immigration concerns based on a deep understanding of immigration legal consequences. Many of our clients before you have faced the same anxieties and fears. We know you need help now. We are here to guide you and advocate on your behalf. We know you.

Take prompt and bold steps to protect your future and stay informed. The first step is to contact our office today to schedule a consultation with a relentless and resourceful Attorney Team. We welcome and encourage your call. Hablamos español.

When is a Violation a Federal Crime?

Federal lawmakers can only pass laws involving federal or national interests. However, some actions may violate both state and federal laws. An alleged illegal act may be classified as a federal crime if:

  • The violation involves immigration or customs
  • The act involves fraud concerning the federal government or its agencies
  • The criminal conduct crosses state lines or involves commerce interstate
  • The defendant crosses state lines
  • The act takes place on federal land or involves federal officers

Generally speaking, the following broad categories of crimes may include federal violations if any of the above situations apply:

Contact STERN Law today to assess the potential scope of criminal allegations you may be facing, and the implications of any such charges for your immigration status.

CrImmigration Consequences for Federal Crimes May Include Deportation

While most non-citizens have the constitutional right to challenge allegations of deportability in Immigration Court, convictions of crimes under “deportable offenses” categories can prevent you from challenging your removal. It’s critical to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney deeply familiar with the heavy implications of such federal criminal allegations.

Deportable offenses that may trigger removal proceedings in Immigration Court may include:

  • Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT)
  • Aggravated Felony (AF)
  • Controlled Substance Offenses
  • Certain Firearm Offenses
  • Crimes involving Domestic Violence, Violation of Protection Order, Stalking, or Child Abuse
  • Any of the additional deportable offenses listed in § 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act

Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude are offenses considered depraved or harmful to other people, according to a judge’s discretion. An attorney experienced in CrImmigration can help you determine whether an alleged act is likely to fall within this subjective definition. One CIMT violation within five years of being admitted to the USA can become grounds for deportation. Two or more CIMT violations can likewise lead to deportation.

Aggravated Felonies constitute serious crimes, but be aware that in immigration law these can include crimes that might only be considered misdemeanors under state or federal courts. From a CrImmigration perspective, these crimes often have severe consequences, including deportation.

As a permanent resident green card holder or Non-U.S. Citizen facing criminal prosecution, you need to work with an attorney who is deeply experienced in federal criminal defense and immigration law to consistently and effectively address your legal concerns on both fronts. At STERN Law, we have an extensive history of representing our clients with a combined CrImmigration approach.

Federal Crimes — From Investigation Through Trial

If you are charged with a federal crime in the USA, you will go through a series of steps from investigation and arrest to pre-trial, plea bargaining, and trial. At every step, we seek to reduce the negative impact on your freedom, your future, and your immigration status. Every case is unique, and you should contact us as soon as possible so we can begin working to prevent or limit the hazardous repercussions of a criminal charge.

Investigation Before You Are Arrested or Charged

The first step in the process is an investigation by a federal law enforcement agency such as the FBI, DEA, or Homeland Security Investigations. Other federal agencies may be involved in your case, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the IRS, the Postal Service, the Secret Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and/or Customs and Border Protection (CBP). During this stage, they will collect evidence and interview witnesses. If they gather enough evidence to support the charges, they would issue a warrant for your arrest.

If you are arrested and accused of a federal crime, you will be brought before a judge for an arraignment hearing to enter your guilty or not guilty plea. You should be in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in immigration law well before this point. Contact us as soon as you believe you may be facing a legal issue.


The pre-trial stage occurs after someone has been arrested, but before the trial. Several things happen during this stage:

Reviewing Evidence:

During pre-trial, the defense and prosecution review all the available evidence in the case. This review is crucial because it establishes the evidence against you, which allegations are being made, and what potential defenses may be available.

Plea Bargains:

Pre-trial is also a time when the prosecution may offer a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an agreement in which you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. We have extensive experience seeking an improved situation through plea bargaining if a conviction appears inevitable. Accepting a plea bargain is ultimately your choice as the defendant. Still, discussing the details with your defense attorney before accepting an offer is vital. You could unknowingly enter a plea bargain that results in absolute deportation.

Planning Defense Strategies:

Pre-trial is an opportunity for you and your defense attorney to develop legal strategies while preparing for trial. We may file pre-trial motions or challenge evidence that was collected illegally. It's also essential to ensure there are no violations of your rights during this stage.

Pre-Trial Court Appearances:

During pre-trial, you may be required to appear in court several times. These appearances are a way to update the judge on the progress of the case, any agreements reached between the defense and prosecution, and to set a date for trial.

At the pre-trial stage, you must work closely with your attorney and provide all necessary or relevant information. We are here to advocate on your behalf and to protect your future in the USA. We are committed to addressing all pertinent information that could threaten your immigration status or your freedom.


We are prepared to aggressively defend you at trial. When you face criminal charges, the prosecution must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Immigrants and Non-U.S. Citizens have special concerns whenever they face criminal charges, and we are motivated to pursue your interests as we represent you throughout the process.

Can I Be Charged With Both State and Federal Crimes?

Someone can be charged twice for the same criminal act if that behavior violates both state and federal laws. The Double Jeopardy Clause does not prevent this, as the state and federal courts are separate. However, it is relatively uncommon for someone to be charged at both the state and federal levels. Be mindful that an alleged crime not pursued at the state level may still lead to a federal charge.

Working with an experienced attorney familiar with both state and federal criminal defense is essential if you believe you may be facing criminal charges at the state or federal level. When your alleged actions violate state and federal laws, there remains the possibility that you may be charged at either level or both.

Contact STERN Law Today in Atlanta, GA, to Strategize a Strong Defense and Protect Your Future

Federal violations are serious crimes, especially if you are an immigrant or a Non-U.S. Citizen. You need a committed, compassionate, and innovative attorney to begin working early on your case to build an effective defense and seek to mitigate a conviction that threatens the life you are building in the USA.

We can help you even if you believe you are guilty of the alleged crime. We help people in your situation every day. There are questions you would not think to ask, which may uncover opportunities in your case.

You need to know all relevant information; you should not be disadvantaged due to your Non-U.S. Citizen status. If your criminal charges may cause you to face deportation, we will let you know.

Contact STERN Law today at our Atlanta, Georgia, office to schedule a consultation and protect your future.

We Defend the American Dream ®

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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