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Assertive Representation In State & Federal Court

The growing odds of a conviction in federal court

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2021 | White Collar Crimes

Federal prosecutors often refer to financially-motivated offenses as white-collar crimes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is quick to get fraud cases like these in front of a grand jury, and cases tend to quickly move to trial once the panel indicts a suspect.

It’s critical that you understand the odds you’re facing if you’re a defendant in a federal case. You may want to start by reviewing federal conviction statistics as you strategize your defense. 

What are your prospects if you’re facing federal criminal charges?

Data compiled by the Pew Research Center from 2018 showed how an estimated 90% of federal criminal cases ended up with the defendant pleading guilty that year. The U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed 8% of cases. The remaining 2%, of 1,879 of them, went to trial. This final statistic marks an estimated 60% decrease in the number of defendants who proceeded to trial 20 years earlier. 

The researchers determined that only 320 of 79,704 defendants received acquittals in their federal cases in 2018. The remaining 99.96% of the cases that the U.S. Attorney’s office handled that year resulted in convictions. 

Whether a defendant requests a jury or a judge to decide their fate when they proceed to trial impacts their conviction rate. Juries tend to acquit 14% of the defendants that come before them. Judges issue acquittals in at least 38% of the cases that they decide. 

How should you proceed if you’re facing federal charges?

You must understand that federal officials have seemingly endless resources available to investigate crimes and prosecute cases here in Ohio. You should keep this in mind when discussing potential defense strategies you’re planning to pursue with a white-collar crime attorney here in Cincinnati.