"Alisha and her firm were heaven sent! I liked them all, however, Ms Wood managed my case. And she was incredible. She is a true genius and had a strategy for my case that was both hard charging' and unexpected

I won when they dismissed the case. Thank You So Much!"

- A Real Avvo Review

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Federal crimes require much more detailed care and thorough work than state crimes, as federal investigations tend to be drawn out and extremely methodical, leaving no stone unturned. At the Law Offices of Alisha A. Wood, we are committed to helping you fight your federal charges and get the best results possible from your case. Our expert staff is dedicated to your rights and ensuring that you are represented by a powerful and knowledgeable team.

Because the process for federal trials varies and may be more in depth on their end than many state trials would be, it is important to seek legal aid as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance for a successful case.

In the San Diego region, we most often see federal cases involving drug crimes, white-collar crimes and immigration violations. If your case falls outside of these categories, feel free to call our offices to learn about how we can help you specifically.

What is a Federal Crime?

It is difficult to categorize federal crime in few words, because over 100 offenses fall under this umbrella and give the United States government the ability to charge you under federal law.

Generally, an offense committed in violation of U.S. criminal code or one related to the property of the federal government may be tried in a federal court. These crimes can include, but are not limited to, terrorism, conspiracy, drug manufacturing, bank fraud, social security fraud, immigration law violations, accounting fraud and more.

Federal crimes result in much more severe penalties than those tried in California state courts; we recommend always having legal representation in these cases to ensure your rights remain protected.

Who Investigates Federal Crimes?

The FBI, DEA, ATF, Secret Service and other federal agencies investigate offenses committed against federal statutes. Sometimes, state law enforcement is asked to work with these groups for more thorough research.

Because federal agencies are involved in prosecution for federal crime, it is important to know your rights inside and out, or to seek representation that will support you through the case. You will need assistance fighting federal charges, and we are here to help.



Drug trafficking in California may be a little bit complicated when it comes to state laws and marijuana, but federal law does not spare any sympathy for any illicit drug activity, even in this state.

Drug trafficking is defined under federal law as an umbrella term for knowingly manufacturing, dispensing or distributing drugs, or knowingly having drugs in your possession with the intent to manufacture, dispense or distribute them.

The words knowingly and intent are what fuel a possible defense for federal drug trafficking charges. Possible defenses include a lack of evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, illegal police conduct including an illegal search and no intent to traffic which may also be used if the person did not know the drugs were in his or her possession.

Penalties for drug trafficking vary depending on the amount of drugs in question, the defendant’s record, whether injury or death resulted from the crime and the type of drug in question. Minimum sentencing is typically 5 years in federal prison.

Marijuana: State vs. Federal

While California state law protects the rights of those in possession of and those who grow and distribute (with a legal medical license) marijuana, the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) categorizes the drug as a Schedule 1 hallucinogenic drug. The federal government does not accept marijuana for medical use and believes it has the ability to be abused and dangerous.

The CSA overrules California law; therefore, violating this act and selling, moving or gifting marijuana is a violation of federal and California law. This crime is punishable by a minimum of one year in federal prison and a $1,000 fine. Sentencing may reach up to 5 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Because marijuana sale and possession with intent to sell are considered “aggravated felonies”, these charges put undocumented citizens at risk for deportation.


When cases involving white-collar crimes rise to the federal level, there is typically already ample evidence against the defendant that the federal court has prepared. Therefore, it is important that you immediately seek legal defense if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony white-collar crime.

“White-collar” categorizes crimes against another’s (in federal cases, the government’s) property or money. Crimes of this type include bribery, burglary, credit card fraud, embezzlement, extortion, forgery, healthcare fraud, theft, tax fraud, attaining stolen property, mail fraud, internet fraud, identity theft, insurance fraud theft and more. These crimes are investigated by federal agencies, and you can be assured they will conduct a very thorough investigation. Seeking an attorney is vital in your success and proper defense in these white-collar cases.


Non-U.S. citizens who have been convicted of a federal crime can face consequences that may lead to deportation, if the crime committed was a “deportable crime.” Keep in mind, the penalty for these crimes is firmly deportation; length of time lived in the country, job status, family ties in the States, dependent children in the US and legal immigration status are irrelevant in these cases. Your defense will need to be thorough, intelligent and strong, and you will need the aid of a well-qualified, experienced attorney to help you avoid deportation, if possible.

Deportable crimes are categorized in several ways, including:

  • Crimes of “moral turpitude”, or crimes involving dishonesty, fraud or antisocial behavior. These may include arson, burglary, forgery, multiple DUI convictions, kidnapping or drug-related crimes
  • “Aggravated felonies”, including murder, sex crimes, fraud involving more than ten thousand dollars, theft or crimes relating to prostitution
  • Drug offenses, or controlled substance offenses
  • Firearm offenses
  • Crimes of domestic violence


When you choose your federal criminal defense attorney, it is important that you trust proven experience and a team who truly cares. At The Law Offices of Alisha A. Wood, we put our clients first and make it our priority to give you and your family the peace of mind that comes from freedom and positive results. If you or a loved one has been convicted of a federal crime, contact us today to learn how we can help you plan for a hopeful future.

Call us at (619) 356-2249.

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