Texas Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
Skilled Texas Criminal Defense Attorneys (Former Justice Department) Defending Against Federal Charges
440 Louisiana St #200
Houston, TX 77002
If you are facing a federal criminal case, an investigation, a federal grand jury subpoena, or a federal target letter, you simply cannot afford to experiment. You only have one shot. Just like you would see a specialist to treat your heart condition, you should consider experienced federal attorneys with a proven track record to handle your federal case, for example:
- Opioid Prescription Investigations (21 U.S.C. 841, 846)
- Healthcare Fraud (Conspiracy, Medicare Fraud, Kickbacks)
- Financial Fraud (Bank Fraud, Tax Fraud, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Money Laundering)
- Computer Crimes
Oberheiden, P.C. has obtained acquittals, dismissed charges, and probation sentences. If you or your business is on the government’s radar, or if you were recently arrested on federal charges in the State of Texas, Oberheiden, P.C. offers efficient help that is based on decades of federal law experience and demonstrated success in avoiding or fighting federal investigations.
Oberheiden, P.C. Is a Federal Criminal Defense Law Firm Serving All of Texas
Oberheiden, P.C. is a local Texas federal criminal defense law firm that is known for avoiding or fighting federal criminal charges. Featured by media stations throughout the State of Texas and nationally, unlike most other firms, our practice focuses on federal law only. Our Texan clients are served by attorneys with distinct careers within the federal justice system. Among our attorneys are:
- Former Justice Department, Trial Attorneys
- Former Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSA)
- Former Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA)
- Former Prosecutors from Various U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Texas
- Federal Criminal Litigation Lawyers
Putting all our federal law, federal litigation, and federal criminal defense experience together, clients not just benefit from the decades of insight gained in leading prosecutorial positions at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but also from the sheer number of federal matters that we have handled throughout our careers. Texans, there simply is no firm like ours!
- 2,000+ Federal Cases Handled
- 2,000+ Grand Jury Subpoenas Handled
- We Won Dismissal & Acquittals in Federal Cases
- We Routinely Avoid Criminal Charges
What You Need to Know About Current FBI, IRS, DEA, and OIG Prosecutions in Texas
The U.S. justice system is divided into state and federal courts. Federal courts have jurisdiction and authority to adjudicate federal criminal offenses, while state courts decide on violations of state offenses. In total, there are 95 federal districts in the U.S., four of which are located in Texas.
- Northern District of Texas (with federal courts in Dallas, Fort Worth, Abilene, San Angelo, Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Lubbock)
- Southern District of Texas (with federal courts in Houston, Galveston, Laredo, Brownsville, Victoria, Corpus Christi, McAllen)
- Western District of Texas (with federal courts in Austin, Waco, El Paso, San Antonio, Del Rio, Pecos, Midland, Alpine, Fort Hood)
- Eastern District of Texas (with federal courts in Tyler, Beaumont, Sherman, Marshall, Texarkana, Lufkin)
Combined, the four federal districts are among the largest federal enforcement territories in the country with the highest number of federal investigations of any state. This fact becomes all the more concerning since the Justice Department recently announced to intensify its efforts and to increase the number of federal prosecutions. Texans must be aware of this.
In 2017, Attorney General Sessions directed federal prosecutors to charge the most serious charges and pursue the harshest sentences. This policy significantly limits the discretion of federal prosecutors to charge a less serious offense, negotiate a plea agreement, or agree to more lenient sentencing. The policy requires a supervising attorney to approve prosecutor decisions to charge a case with less than the maximum sustainable charge or a lesser sentence. Any departure from the harsh new policy also requires the approval of a supervising attorney. The rationale justifying the deviation from this harsh policy must be written in the case file. Some critics argue that few prosecutors will ever risk exercising their discretion given these obstacles. The instructions address all federal agencies investigating federal offenses, such as the:
- Department of Homeland Security
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Office of Inspector General (OIG)
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- S. Attorney’s Office (USAO)
This policy denying prosecutor discretion to show leniency has even more devastating consequences because of the federal sentencing guidelines. Federal judges typically follow the sentencing guidelines, which may include mandatory minimum terms. Between the inflexible practices of Department of Justice and Office of the Attorney General prosecutors and harsh federal sentencing guidelines, criminal defendants in federal court need a skilled advocate who understands these tough challenges and possesses a track record of success. This is what Texas is currently experiencing:
- Increase of Federal Arrests & Federal Charges
- Expansion of Search Warrant and Arrest Warrants
- FBI Agents Attempting to Interview
- Target Letters from the U.S. Attorney’s Office
- Grand Jury Subpoena Asking for Records/Testimony
Our federal criminal defense attorneys have handled thousands of cases in federal court, but our success is evidenced by going beyond even our exemplary record in federal grand jury proceedings and trials.
- 18 U.S.C. 1349 Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud
- 18 U.S.C. 1347 Healthcare Fraud
- 18 U.S.C. 1035 False Statements Relating to Healthcare Matters
- 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b(b)(2) Payment of Illegal Remuneration
- 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b(b)(1) Receipt of Illegal Remuneration
- 21 U.S.C. 846 Conspiracy to Distribute
- 21 U.S.C. 841 Distribution and Possession with Intent to Distribute Narcotics
- 21 U.S.C. 846 Conspiracy to Distribute Furanyl Fentanyl, Carfentanil, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Marijuana, or Cocaine etc.
- 21 U.S.C. 846 Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance
- 18 U.S.C. 1956 Money Laundering
- 18 U.S.C. 1349 Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
- 18 U.S.C. 1349 Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
- 18 U.S.C. 1341 Mail Fraud
- 18 U.S.C. 1343 Wire Fraud
Oberheiden, P.C. vigorously defends the people of Texas when facing federal law investigations. We are a team of former Department of Justice Trial Attorneys, former Assistant and Special Assistant United States Attorneys and former federal prosecutors previously in charge of federal investigations at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Beaumont, and elsewhere.
FAQs: Important Questions Regarding Federal Prosecutions in the State of Texas
What Are the Penalties for Federal Felonies?
Federal felonies typically range from 0-10 years, but some, like mail and wire fraud and many violent offenses can go up to 0-20 years per each offense. More important than thinking that you will spend 20 years in jail is to understand how sentences in Texas federal courts are actually imposed. First of all, there is only a sentencing if you got convicted or decided to plea guilty. Our job is to avoid this from happening. Next, most federal judges in Texas follow the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines contain complicated arithmetic and mathematical formulas that allow the U.S. Probation Office to recommend a sentence range to the judge. Then, before the sentencing hearing, defense attorneys can challenge and object to the recommendation. For example, attorney Nick Oberheiden has repeatedly obtained probation outcomes when the guidelines called for years in prison.
How Will I Know that I Am Under Investigation?
Besides rumors and agents trying to interview you or business affiliates, the safest way to know about an investigation is if you receive formal notice from the U.S. Attorney’s Office by way of a target letter, a grand jury subpoena, or other form of correspondence from an Assistant United States Attorney. By the same token, you may also find out, then obviously, when agents come to your residence or business to execute a search warrant or federal arrest warrant. Because investigations are not public, it is important to act immediately at the earliest sign of an investigation. The sooner a skilled attorney can enter the case and defend your interest, the more likely it is that you will walk away with no charges.
Does an Arrest Mean I Am Guilty?
Absolutely not! If you get arrested on federal charges in Texas, that means that a federal magistrate judge saw probable cause that you committed a crime, either yourself or by assisting someone else. It is important to realize that a simple affidavit from a federal agent investigating the matter can amount to probable cause. In other words, unlike the burden of proof the government has to show that you are actually guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, probable cause can be met rather easy. Oberheiden, P.C. has demonstrated the difference between an arrest and a conviction by obtaining dismissal and acquittals. If you or someone you deeply care for got arrested on federal charges in Texas and you want lawyers to help with the federal bond hearing or with the defense case, then call Oberheiden, P.C. for a case discussion, a quote, and a free and confidential consultation.
How Should I Respond to a Target Letter?
If you receive a target letter from any of the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Texas, that means that the government formally informs you that they have reason to believe that you violated a federal criminal statute or that you aided and assisted someone else to commit a federal offense (often referred to as a criminal conspiracy). Target letters are fairly common in Texas. They are not public, that means nobody but you and the government knows about it; it is also important to understand that there is no case filed against you. While target letters essentially conclude the investigation, you receiving notice offers experienced attorneys an opportunity to take on the invitation from the prosecutor that is typically contained in the last paragraph of the target letter to meet, discuss (and possibly clarify) the matter. Oberheiden, P.C. has convinced prosecutors that have issued target letters not to actually bring charges by making compelling presentations at the U.S. Attorney’s Office on behalf of our targeted client. Target letters are extremely serious. You cannot afford to ignore them, you must not hesitate to address the issue. If you received a target letter, contact one of our experienced Texas attorneys immediately. We will discuss the matter with you, hear your side of the story, and then open a dialogue with the prosecutor.
Should I Talk to the FBI Myself?
Federal agents are case investigators. They are expected to collect information so that the prosecutor can make a decision whether or not to move forward with charges. One (common) way for federal agents to gather information is to make surprise visits to potential witnesses or targets of their investigation asking for an interview. While these FBI and DEA and OIG agents are well trained and know how to assure you that their questions have “nothing to do with you,” caution is in order. It is never a good idea, no matter how innocent you are, to talk to FBI agents. Why? Because you don’t know what they actually want from you, you don’t know whether you are actually considered a mere witness. They don’t have to tell you and, often, they deliberately tell you what you want to hear (“it’s not about you”) to make you feel comfortable speaking with them—even if they already made the decision that you are a target and they are simply waiting for you to incriminate yourself. When agents approach you for an interview, politely insist on having a lawyer present. Let Oberheiden, P.C. speak with the agent and the prosecutor first to find out about the purpose of the interview and your role in the case. Talk to Oberheiden, P.C. and let us handle to agents to protect your rights and interests.
What Type of Offenses Do You Handle?
Oberheiden, P.C. is known for its healthcare fraud and federal fraud defense practice. We have resolved a large number of federal fraud cases resulting in no charges and no liability for our clients, including but not limited to health are fraud, insurance fraud, investment fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, tax evasion, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, embezzlement, mortgage fraud, counterfeiting, corporate fraud, federal procurement fraud, theft of government property, and violations of intellectual property. In addition, as former prosecutors and defense attorneys, our attorneys have handled a large number of federal drug cases, drug trafficking, violations of the Controlled Substance Act. As of recent, Oberheiden, P.C. also concluded a number of environmental cases and we have been featured by radio and TV stations in federal corruption and bribery cases.
When Should I Get a Lawyer?
Frankly, if you are even remotely involved in a federal case, be it as a distant witness or as the prime target, you should immediately consult with an attorney that understands the federal criminal process. Make sure the lawyer does not handle anything but federal cases and that he/she has specific and compelling answers to your most pressing questions. In general, the sooner the right attorney joins the defense case, the easier it is to influence the outcome. Feel free to call Oberheiden, P.C. for a free and confidential assessment to see if you need a lawyer and what a lawyer can do for you at this stage of your case.
Who Will Represent Me at Oberheiden, P.C.?
One of the things that are unique about Oberheiden, P.C. is that we do not let junior lawyers or paralegals handle a federal case. From the moment you call us, you will be speaking with experienced attorneys like Dr. Nick Oberheiden and we commit to you that you will not deal with anyone but a highly experienced top-level partner attorney. Find out for yourself and schedule an appointment at one of our Texas locations. We try to accommodate same day meetings, including on weekends!“Relentless”
“It is very clear to me that Nick Oberheiden has a deep understanding of health law issues. [He] has been instrumental in managing and resolving many difficult legal matters [and] is always relentlessly focused on the critical issues that matter most. Nick is very dedicated and . . . displays a high degree of professionalism. I would not hesitate in recommending Nick for the most important of legal matters.” – Satisfied Client“The very best!”
“I hired Nick Oberheiden and Oberheiden, P.C. to defend me in a criminal healthcare matter. From the first moment I met with Nick[,] my wife and I knew that he [would provide] the help I need[ed]. And yes, Nick got me out of trouble. No charges. Case Dismissed.” – Satisfied Client
Texans Trust Oberheiden, P.C.
Texans trust Oberheiden, P.C. because we are the only law firm that handles almost exclusively federal cases. We combine decades of Justice Department experience with proven results as federal criminal defense attorneys. Acquittals, dismissals, probation, and avoided criminal charges are integral parts of our firm’s résumé. If you have any reason to believe that you might be involved in a federal case, remember: you will not get a second chance. Call one of our former federal prosecutors and meet us for a case assessment. Texans helping Texans!
Call Today for a Free Case Assessment of your Criminal Defense Case From Experienced Former DOJ-Prosecutors
The federal criminal defense attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C. are now available to discuss your case. Find out how experienced prosecutors and defense attorneys assess your case and what advice they offer once they learn the facts of the case from you. Calls are free and confidential. Contact us today.
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