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How Can I Defend Myself Against Federal Charges?

Posted on : November 21, 2018, By:  Tom Kokonowski, Esq.

If you are charged with a federal crime, your life will change in every way imaginable.

Dealing with an investigation, court dates, and the effects to your personal life all while struggling to protect your rights is challenging. Federal crimes are serious and carry with them hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison. Some federal crimes carry lifetime sentences. Here’s what you need to know about defending yourself against federal crimes and how to get help you can trust.


If you have a good alibi, you may be able to have the case against you dismissed. If someone can corroborate that you were somewhere else at the alleged time and place of the crime, you may be able to prove you weren’t there. Even better is if you have a receipt or video footage that shows you were somewhere else and couldn’t have committed the crime.


If you were forced to commit a federal crime under duress, you may be able to use this as a defense. You must be able to prove that you or your family were threatened with violence or death if you did not commit the crime and that you had no other reasonable alternative to avoid committing the crime.


You may be able to enter a plea of insanity if you committed a federal crime as a result of a severe mental illness or defect. Your legal counsel must be able to prove that you did not understand that what you did was wrong or illegal.


Citizens of the United States have the right to defend themselves against unlawful assault. If you were unlawfully assaulted and responded by defending yourself, this may be a viable defense if the other person was critically hurt or even killed. This also pertains to situations where you may have been defending someone else from an unlawful assault.

False Accusation

You may be able to argue that you were falsely accused for a crime. This can be done by providing an alibi as outlined above, or by deconstructing the credibility of witnesses testifying against you.

If you were charged with a federal offense, you need to take steps immediately to protect your rights and your future. Don’t wait — contact aggressive Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Thomas Kokonowski. Call now for a consultation to discuss the options available to you at (413) 585-9200.