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Federal Criminal Defense Attorney in Austin, Texas

Any charge involving federal law should never be taken lightly. When it comes to your legal representation, don’t take any chances. Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight back against a federal criminal charge.

I provide aggressive and comprehensive defense against my clients’ federal charges. I understand the stress you’re likely under, which is why I’ll work with you on a strategy that keeps your best interests in mind. Contact The Law Office of Ricardo Maldonado in Austin, Texas, today to schedule a consultation of your case. I represent clients throughout both Hays and Williamson counties.

You’ve Been Arrested on a Federal Criminal Charge. Now What?

As your attorney, I’m committed to being by your side from start to finish. Whether your case involves the FBI, the IRS, the DEA, or another law enforcement agency, I’m ready to fiercely defend your rights. I’ll be here to answer your questions and guide you through every step of the legal process.

Pre-Trial Detention Hearing

Also called an initial appearance hearing, this review takes place after your arrest. A federal judge will determine whether you must stay in custody or be released under certain conditions. These hearings do not formally charge detainees with crimes.

Indictment or Information

An indictment is issued by a federal grand jury in a confidential proceeding in which you, the defendant, are not present. It occurs when grand jurors find it more probable than not that you have committed a federal crime.

If you wish to avoid a grand jury proceeding, your attorney can waive your right to a grand jury and instead accept an information, otherwise known as a formal criminal charge.


During this required hearing, a judge will formally charge you with a federal crime. Here, you have the option to plead “not guilty,” as you will not yet have had access to the evidence the government has collected regarding your case. At this point in the process, law enforcement agencies have not yet made a concrete decision on your involvement in the crime in question.


Legally, the government must disclose the evidence it has gathered. You will be able to see information, sources, and the strength of the case made against you. From there, you can decide whether to move forward with a trial or prepare a guilty plea bargain.

Plea Bargaining

If you choose to plead guilty to the charges, you will then be educated on the meaning and consequences of your plea and then do so in an open court. Your attorney may reach an agreement with the government entities containing a provision about the maximum sentence they will seek.

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Motions & Trial

If you choose to take your case to trial and challenge the evidence brought against you, the following requests are submitted:

  • Motions to suppress certain evidence
  • Requests to disclose witness lists
  • Inquiries regarding legal arguments

Your trial will be presided over by a federal judge and a panel of 12 jurors. The judge decides questions of law, while the jury is tasked with settling factual disputes.


If you have either pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial, the judge will review sentencing recommendations made by the designated federal probation officer. He or she will also take into account applicable laws, judicial discretion, and constitutional constraints. Prior to sentencing, you and your attorney will have the chance to address the court.

Supervised Release

If sentenced, the judge may order a supervised release following a period of incarceration. This means post-incarceration, you must follow a set of restrictions, such as frequent drug tests, that monitor your lawful reintegration into society.

Federal Appeals

If you feel you have been unfairly convicted, your case may be eligible for an appeal. If granted, a higher court will review your case for alleged errors such as:

  • Exculpatory evidence that was not disclosed to you
  • Any illegally obtained evidence
  • Abuse of the federal judge’s sentencing discretion

The federal criminal process can be incredibly overwhelming to face alone. You deserve a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney fighting to protect your rights.

Why Work with Me?

A criminal conviction can affect not only your life but also the lives of those you love. If you’ve been charged with a federal crime in Austin, Texas, get in touch with me at The Law Office of Ricardo Maldonado. I proudly defend the rights of clients in both Hays and Williamson counties.

Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Austin, Texas

A conviction of a federal crime can leave lasting consequences. Start fighting for justice with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. I’m ready to use my background and knowledge of the legal industry to advocate for your rights. Contact my office in Austin, Texas, for dedicated counsel in either Hays or Williamson County.