The US Federal Criminal Justice System

Just like the State of California criminal system, the Federal criminal system comes with its own set of statutes, procedures, courts, judges and prosecutors. The difference lies, however, in that the crimes prosecuted in Federal court are those that are related to the Federal government, crimes that cross state lines, and crimes of international flavor.

Another difference between the two systems is the punishment given for the convicted offense. In a State system the judge has discretion to punish the convicted person as he sees fit, sometimes outside the guidelines set out in the violated statutes.

The Federal criminal system, on the other hand, has guideline sentences for each offense. Although these guidelines are no longer mandatory, the judge usually sticks with the guideline sentences anyway.

Let me give you an example.

About four years ago Alice, entered this country with an intent remain here permanently. She settled in the Van Nuys area of Los Angeles county. Being quite wealthy she had decided to purchase a house for cash. She then reconsidered the cash payment. She decided to invest her money elsewhere and simply take out a loan for the house. The problem Alice ran into was that she had no financial history here in the US, no credit history, no income tax records.

Instead of reverting back to her old plan of paying cash, or finding another way around the problem, Alice prepared false income tax returns and presented them to a lending institution. She felt that she really did nothing wrong because she was going to make the monthly payments after all. It was not as if she was going to steal money from the bank. She did exactly what many in our community do.

As a result of these false tax returns she obtained the loan she wanted, purchased her new house and lived there happily for approximately six months, until she was arrested by the FBI for falsifying Federal income tax returns. A colleague of mine who represented Alice told me that she spend five years in a Federal prison.

Had Alice been processed through the Los Angeles Criminal Court system, for example, the California judge in Alice’s case would have had discretion to send her to prison for the same five years or longer, or in the alternative order Alice to perform community service, or a punishment somewhere in between the two extremes. In the Federal system, however, the United States Federal judge has a chart which tells him the punishment for this particular offense, Alice must spend five years in federal prison, no more, no less. Again these guidelines now are only advisory. Nevertheless they are almost always followed by judges.

This is one of the reasons, many consider the federal system to be very harsh and unforgiving. However, despite the severity of the federal system, people can still successfully defend themselves by not speaking with the police or the FBI without an attorney present, by properly preparing for trial, and by having a good Federal criminal defense attorney on their side throughout all stages of the criminal case.

Recent Cases

Two defendants charged in a massive 60 plus defendant insurance fraud case.  Each defendant was charged with more than 20 felony counts of insurance fraud.  The criminal defense attorneys of Gurovich, Berk & Associates settled both defendants to … Continue reading


Represented client in a multiple defendant Federal Healthcare Fraud case and convinced the Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting the case that he cannot prove his case.  Case Dismissed!


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Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys

Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Gurovich, Berk & Associates have been providing criminal defense services to individuals charged in criminal cases due to alleged crimes committed in Los Angeles, CA for numerous years. Criminal defense lawyers at this law firm have several offices throughout the greater Los Angeles area. This Los Angeles criminal defense law firm is proud to announce that the Gurovich, Berk & Associates have opened an office in the Downtown Los Angeles areas located at 355 South Grand Ave, #2450, Los Angeles, California 90071. Their Los Angeles criminal defense office is centrally located in the financial district in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles specifically to those clients who reside or work near the Downtown area.


If you have been arrested, charged or under investigation for misdemeanor, felony, or federal crime in Los Angeles, California please call us to set up an appointment for a FREE CONSULTATION. Please allow our expert team of Los Angeles criminal attorneys to offer you the assistance and support of a criminal defense law firm that has extensive experience with the federal and state court system throughout all the cities in the Los Angeles county as you face this most unfortunate experience. We are solely a criminal defense law firm. That is all we do and have done since our inception.


If you have been arrested for drunk driving and a related accidet, it is in your best interest to retain a knowledgeable, experienced and aggressive DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. A qualified DUI lawyer in our Los Angeles law firm can educate you as to your options, assist you in making critical decisions, investigate the factors that led to your arrest, and skillfully examine law enforcement personnel. A qualified DUI attorney in our Van Nuys criminal defense law firm will be in your corner aggressively defending your rights with the goal of successfully fighting your DUI charges. The DUI attorneys at Gurovich, Berk & associates, have investigated and litigated thousands of DUI cases in all the major cities Los Angeles county. Our DUI lawyers will scrutinize whether the Field Sobriety Tests (FST's) were administered correctly and use any mistake by law enforcement to our client's benefit in securing either a dismissal or a reduction of the charges. In addition, our LA criminal defense attorneys will scrutinize the chemical test results and will bring to light any possible testing or administration errors. Our Los Angeles criminfal attorneys will aggressively defend your interests so that you will receive the best outcome of your Los Angeles DUI case.


In dealing with a Los Angeles DUI case whether involving alcohol or controlled substances, you will need an experienced Los Angeles criminal attorney that will test the validity of the field sobriety tests and/or blood/breath tests in your case and work diligently to provide you with the best possible outcome of your Los Angeles DUI case. Los Angeles DUI lawyers at the Gurovich, Berk & Associates are familiar and experienced with the DMV along with all the criminal courts. Our DUI defense attorneys will aggressively defend your interests so that you will receive the best outcome of your Los Angeles DUI case.

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