There are some critical differences between federal and state criminal charges. The type of offense, length of a potential prison sentence, and the resources available to the prosecution can all be quite different when comparing a federal and state criminal case.
State Criminal Cases
Most types of minor crimes are prosecuted by the state. Your typical DWI, drug possession, or theft crimes will generally be state crimes.
Each state can have its own rules about these cases. There may be some differences in how the charges are classified and what the minimum and maximum sentences are.
More serious crimes, such as drug trafficking or even murder, can also be state crimes. However, in some cases, they could also qualify as federal offenses.
Federal Criminal Cases
The federal government has jurisdiction over some types of crimes, such as mail fraud. Other crimes could be state or federal offenses, depending on the specific facts and circumstances.
For example, drug trafficking would be a state crime in North Carolina. However, the crime can become federal if the drugs are shipped across state lines.
Crimes can become federal offenses in many other ways, such as when they occur on federal property. It’s important that you understand the differences and consequences of having your case become federal.
How Federal Cases Are Different
Federal cases and prosecuted by the federal government. This could mean that there are more resources available to gather evidence and develop their case against you.
These cases also take place in federal court. These courts have their own rules of procedure that may differ from the rules used in a state court.
An understanding of federal law will also be critical to your case. The elements that need to be proven, as well as potential defenses, will all be based on federal laws.
Federal sentencing guidelines will also be followed. Federal sentencing guidelines are generally harsher than the state sentence that would be required for a similar type of crime.
Because of the serious nature of any federal criminal case, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with a federal crime in North Carolina or South Carolina.
King Law handles criminal defense matters in North and South Carolina, drug possession, DWI, and theft cases. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today to set up a consultation with one of our dedicated criminal defense attorneys.