Charlotte Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Charlotte Federal Criminal Defense Attorney


If you or a loved one is being investigated by the federal government, you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. A lawyer with experience defending against federal offenses can aggressively protect your rights in and out of court and safeguard your interests throughout the entire process.

Our founder, attorney Steven T. Meier, has more than 25 years of experience representing those in Charlotte, North Carolina, and surrounding areas who face advanced criminal charges.

An Experienced Defense Fighting for You

At Steven T. Meier, PLLC, we are experienced federal criminal defense attorneys dedicated to providing exceptional service.

That can be the difference when your future is at stake. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience combating federal criminal charges in Charlotte, NC. This allows us to create a strong defense for all of our clients.

Whether you’re facing drug-related charges such as possession or manufacture, white collar charges such as securities violations, or any other crime that will be prosecuted in federal court, we will fight to protect your rights.

Advanced Knowledge in White Collar Federal Charges

Steve Meier began his professional career in the financial services industry and is well-versed in FINRA, securities regulations and white collar criminal defense. Steve has represented several financial advisers accused of Ponzi schemes; companies that have needed to conduct internal investigations or are being investigated by an outside agency; offshore, trust and tax violations; as well as fraud and money laundering charges.

He has held several licenses, including the Series 7, and brings a level of experience to these kinds of cases that few other attorneys have. We put that experience in your corner when you face accusations of white-collar crimes.

Legal Consequences

Sentences for federal crimes generally carry similar penalties to what you might find with state crimes. In determining a sentence for a crime, a number of factors will be taken into consideration by the court. They will consider:

  • Whether it is a first crime or a repeat offense
  • The kind of damage or loss that the crime caused and the defendant’s part in it
  • The totality of charges and their relevant conduct

The court will look at the sentencing guidelines for the different statutes and settle on a penalty that they deem to be fair given the totality of the situation. Some of the potential penalties that a court may hand down include:

  • Probation – In less serious cases that are first offenses and some drug or white collar crimes, the court may choose to give probation instead of a prison sentence. The court will typically set a list of rules and parameters that the convicted will be expected to adhere to.
  • Fines – In most cases, guidelines will recommend some sort of fine. Less serious offenses will result in smaller fines, while more serious offenses can often include substantial fines.
  • Prison – For more serious offenses and repeat offenders, a prison sentence in a federal penitentiary is a likely possibility. These sentences could be a matter of months on the low end, and as long as life without parole on the more serious end.

Additional Consequences

While the legal penalties of a federal criminal conviction are often severe, they are by no means the full extent of the consequences that someone could suffer. There are often career, economic, educational, and social costs that come along with a criminal conviction. Many of these consequences stem from the fact that the convicted will be left with a permanent criminal record. Some of the extra-legal consequences of a federal criminal conviction include:

  • Employment Difficulties – Most employers will perform a background check before they hire someone. A criminal background can often be disqualifying for many positions, particularly anything related to the conviction. For instance, any conviction of a crime involving finances can make it nearly impossible to work in any position that manages money.
  • Professional License Challenges – Professional licensing organizations will also likely run a background check. There are several different professional licenses for which a criminal record will lead to an automatic disqualification. In many other cases, while not a de facto disqualifying element, a criminal record can often make it very difficult to get accepted.
  • College Admissions Issues – College admissions will also run a background check, and it can often be a hindrance to acceptance into a university if someone has a criminal record.
  • Student Loan Disqualification – Most student loan programs will not lend to someone with a criminal background. This means that, for those lucky enough to still get accepted to college, funding can be difficult to come by.
  • Line of Credit Problems – In some cases, securing a loan or line of credit can be a challenge with a criminal record.
  • Reputation Loss – There can be a significant social cost that comes from a criminal conviction as well. There are many people who will treat someone differently when they find out that they have a criminal background.

What a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Do for You?

It’s the job of a criminal defense lawyer, federal and otherwise, to both represent their client and protect their rights. This job can extend from before the trial begins all the way through the end of an appeals process.

Protect Your Rights

You have several rights that need to be protected during the investigative process. For instance, you have a right to not be subject to unlawful searches, which in most cases means that you must be served a warrant or an exception must exist. You also have a right to avoid self-incrimination and to remain silent.

If you find out that you’re being investigated for a federal crime, then you should contact a lawyer, like those at Steven T. Meier, PLLC, as soon as possible. Working with a lawyer can help protect you from accidentally saying or doing something that might incriminate you. Additionally, we can begin the process of building a defense. We may help you avoid accidentally getting rid of evidence that might prove your innocence.

Investigate Your Case

As criminal defense lawyers, it’s also our job to investigate your case, with a focus on crafting a defense against the prosecution’s claims. The investigation involves:

  • Gathering facts that support a defensive strategy
  • Subpoenaing important documents
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Looking at anything that we believe might be valuable to your defense

Challenge the Prosecution’s Case Against You

An important part of a defensive strategy is trying to think like the prosecution. The burden of proof in criminal trials is on the prosecution. They must persuade judges and juries that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that anything the defense can do to create doubt can be beneficial to your case.

The more your attorney is able to challenge the evidence and narrative of the prosecution, the better your chances are of winning. We may also put together a proactive defensive approach if the situation warrants it. Things like arguing for self-defense or entrapment may be appropriate in a given situation.

Defend You in Court

It’s also the job of a lawyer to defend their client in court. This means arguing a defense on their behalf. If the outcome isn’t as hoped for, and a guilty verdict comes in, then it’s a lawyer’s job to argue for a lighter sentence for their client.

They can present evidence of mitigating factors to make the case that the crime doesn’t deserve the harshest of penalties. Even after sentencing, a lawyer can help with the appeals process as well.

What to Look for in a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer?

The most important thing to look for in a criminal defense lawyer is that they are someone you trust. There is a lot on the line in criminal cases. You want to feel confident that your lawyer can give you the strongest possibility of putting up a formidable defense.

Putting Our Clients First

One of the main goals of our practice is to create a welcoming environment where you can feel comfortable throughout the often-uncomfortable legal process.

We are dedicated to making the process go as smoothly as possible so that you can thrive and succeed. See what our clients have to say about our services.

Get The Help You Need Today

You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to hire a firm that can represent you with skill and experience. Federal criminal charges are complex and require an intricate defense that takes time. The faster you contact us, the sooner we can get started.

We offer free consultations. If you would like to learn more about your options, call us at 704-333-3456. You can also fill out our online contact form.


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