Criminal Charges Filed in Federal Court Versus State Court

Criminal Charges Filed in Federal Court Versus State Court

Criminal charges may be filed against an individual in federal court or in state court. What does this mean, and what is the difference?

Because our attorneys are licensed to practice in state and federal court, our firm handles criminal cases filed in Arizona State Court or federal court throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.

Criminal Charges Filed in Federal Court Versus State Court

Criminal cases involving alleged violations of state law are filed in and tried in state court.

Criminal cases involving alleged violations of federal law must be filed in and tried in federal court.

The penalties for a conviction of violating a state law versus federal law will be different. Also, if you are sentenced to incarceration, that time will be served either in a state or a federal facility.

State Law

The majority of criminal cases involve alleged violations of state law.

For example, robbery is a crime in all 50 states. Each state has their own law on what constitutes the crime of robbery and what penalties may be imposed for a conviction. However, there are few federal laws on robbery, such as the law that makes it a federal crime to rob a bank.

Federal Law

Federal criminal laws address crimes that cross state lines or cross the borders. For example, the use of the internet in identity theft that crosses state lines can be charged as a federal crime. Other examples of federal crimes include smuggling illegal drugs into the country or across state lines and the use of the U.S. mail system to commit fraud. Also, crimes committed on federal property, like Indian Reservations or national parks, are prosecuted in federal court.

Charged for the Same Crime Twice: Double Jeopardy

The legal doctrine of Double Jeopardy precludes a person from being charged twice for the same crime. However, when multiple jurisdictions are involved, such as the state and the federal government, Double Jeopardy does not protect you. This is because it is viewed as separate offenses, even if the criminal charges arise out of the same crime. The legal doctrine of Dual Sovereignty gives the state and federal government the power to prosecute you for the same crime, under their respective laws.

State or Federal White Collar Criminal Defense

White collar crimes for fraud may be prosecuted in state or federal court. Our firm is prepared to defend you in any federal court or any Arizona State Court.

Ashley D. Adams is a former fraud prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She understands how state and federal white collar crimes are investigated and how prosecutors operate, and can use these insider experiences to mount a strong defense.

Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation.

 

The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.

The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona including the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Chandler, Casa Grande, Florence, Queen Creek, Deer Valley, North Pinal and Sun City as well as those living in and around Maricopa County, Pinal County, Pima County, Yuma County and Yavapai County.