Your Syracuse Federal
Court Attorneys

A Federal Crime can have a catastrophic lifetime impact. Cambareri & Brenneck, your criminal defense team, can help.

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Experienced Federal
Crime Attorneys

Trust former prosecutors to handle your federal crime case.

Why Do I Need a Defense Attorney?

While the majority of criminal prosecutions occur in state courts, federal laws designate certain offenses as federal crimes. Examples of frequently charged federal crimes encompass drug offenses, mail fraud, child pornography, identity theft, and computer crimes. It is important to note that experience in state-level criminal defense alone does not adequately prepare for federal defense. Federal criminal trials tend to be highly intricate and adhere to meticulous rules of procedure.

At Cambareri & Brenneck, we are well-versed in the challenges and dilemmas criminal defendants face as they navigate our justice system. Our firm is made up of former prosecutors with an intimate knowledge of how the accused are processed in the state of New York. We know how to intervene in this process and ensure that the allegations against our client receive the consideration and scrutiny they deserve.

Explore your legal options with an experienced and knowledgeable former prosecutor before a plea deal is entered. We take all situations into consideration to get you the best results.

What Are Federal Drug Charges?

The federal Controlled Substances Act criminalizes drug possession and distribution. Enforced by the DEA, it categorizes drugs into schedules and sets regulations for manufacturing and distribution. Federal drug crimes include manufacturing, trafficking, criminal enterprise, conspiracy, illicit distribution, possession without prescription, and investing illegal drug profits in interstate businesses.

At Cambareri & Brenneck we
regularly examine whether or not:

There have been civil rights violations against our client.

The police violated search and seizure laws.

There are police misconduct issues.

There are pieces of evidence that should be suppressed.

There have been chain-of-evidence issues.

The police violated search and seizure laws.

The prosecutors have overextended with their indictment of the accused.

There are witnesses (or other evidence) that dispute the state's version of events.

What's the Sentencing Process?

Federal courts follow the Federal Sentencing Guidelines when sentencing defendants in federal crime cases. Factors such as harm to others, weapon use, and the defendant’s criminal history are considered. Judges can deviate from the guidelines but must adhere to mandatory minimum and maximum sentences outlined by federal statutes. Crimes in protected zones or schools may result in enhanced penalties. Our attorneys utilize evidence from our investigations to challenge the prosecution’s ability to prove all elements of the crime. We also strive to reduce sentencing severity when mandatory requirements are unjustifiable.

When it is appropriate, Cambareri & Brenneck will advocate for our clients’ eligibility for these programs. For more information on the allegations against you, the possible penalties, and what our team is prepared to do to secure the most favorable outcome possible, call our offices today.

Federal Crime Penalties

Jail Time


Significant Fines & Penalties


Asset Forfeiture

Speak with Our Team For a
Case Analysis At 315.424.TEAM (8326)

Understanding Federal Crime in Syracuse

The most common federal crime charges:

Cambareri & Brenneck PLLC specializes in federal white-collar crimes, which encompass a wide range of nonviolent offenses driven by financial gain. These crimes, listed in the United States Code, consist of:

  • Bank fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Identity theft
  • Health care fraud (Medicare/Medicaid fraud)
  • Insurance fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Mortgage fraud/real estate fraud
  • Securities fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Mail fraud/wire fraud

A conviction for white-collar crimes can lead to severe consequences, including imprisonment, substantial fines, home detention, community confinement, and the payment of prosecution costs. Our firm is dedicated to providing expert legal representation for victims of white-collar crimes, ensuring their rights are protected and pursuing the best possible outcome.

Cambareri & Brenneck PLLC specializes in federal drug crimes, which are governed by the Controlled Substances Act. This act, enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), criminalizes the possession and distribution of specific drugs. The act categorizes drugs into five schedules and establishes regulations for manufacturing and distribution. Federal drug crimes include:

  • Drug manufacturing
  • Drug trafficking
  • Continuing criminal enterprise crimes
  • Conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, or import illegal drugs
  • Distributing illicit drugs in prohibited locations or to individuals under 21 years old
  • Simple possession of controlled substances without a valid prescription
  • Investing drug profits from illegal drug sales in interstate businesses

Our firm is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal representation for individuals facing federal drug crime charges. We work tirelessly to protect our clients’ rights and pursue the most favorable outcomes.

For a second-time DWI offense within 10 years in New York, it is considered a Class E felony, which could result in fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, a jail sentence of up to 4 years, and a minimum one-year license revocation. The defendant may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle they own or operate.

Additionally, having prior convictions can negatively affect the defendant’s standing in the eyes of the court and potentially limit their available defense strategies. For example, it might be more difficult to negotiate plea deals or qualify for diversion programs or other leniencies.

At Cambareri Brenneck, we specialize in federal firearm laws, ensuring that individuals facing charges understand the complexity of both state and federal regulations. It’s important to note that the use of a firearm during the commission of another crime can lead to severe sentencing enhancements. Our firm handles various federal firearm charges, including:

  • Felony firearm possession
  • Carrying or using a firearm during a violent crime
  • False statements regarding firearm purchases
  • Offenses involving stolen firearms
  • Possession and sale of firearms with altered or removed serial numbers
  • Unlawful possession or transfer of machine guns

We are dedicated to providing strategic legal representation, protecting our clients’ rights, and working towards the best possible outcomes.

At Cambareri Brenneck, we specialize in federal prosecutions of sex crimes involving minors. While states typically handle such cases, federal involvement has grown in recent decades. To secure a conviction for sexual abuse of a minor, federal prosecutors must demonstrate that the defendant knowingly engaged or attempted to engage in a sexual act with a person (1) aged 12 to 16, and (2) at least four years younger than the defendant. Those convicted of this offense may face a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. Our firm is committed to providing expert legal representation in these sensitive cases.

Get a FREE Consultation with Your Criminal Defense Attorney.

Your Defense Team

Melissa Swartz

Federal Crime Attorney

Steve Cambareri

Partner, Attorney

Scott Brenneck

Partner, Attorney

(Ret.) Judge
John Centra

Special Counsel to Appeals

Joe Centra


Ken Tyler


Michele Previte

Office Manager

Jess Previte

Administrative Assistant

Types of Cases

Proudly Serving Central New York

Service Areas

Criminal Defense

Serving upstate new york


serving upstate new york

Traffic Tickets

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Serving all of
new york state

Why choose us

The Defense Firm You Have Been Looking For

Strong Reputation

Our honest, transparent approach to criminal defense helps us better protect our clients' best interests.

Former Prosecutors

As former prosecutors with 40+ years of experience, we leverage our insight to benefit our clients.

Collateral Consequences

We are dedicated to being a faithful and reliable support system to all of our clients.

Free Case Consultations

Our team is available to consult you on how to get out of the difficult situation you are in.

Your Criminal Defense Team is Waiting to Help.

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