If you have been arrested for a criminal offense, you may be wondering if your case will be prosecuted in federal or state court. While most crimes will be subject to state court, there are several circumstances which make them applicable for both state and federal court systems or only federal jurisdiction alone. It is important to understand that federal criminal convictions result in harsher penalties compared to a conviction in state court.
Your criminal case will be held in federal court if one of the following circumstances is true:
- You were arrested by federal law enforcement agency – From the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), if you were arrested by federal authorities, your case will be prosecuted in federal court. Federal investigations consist of more personnel and resources than state law enforcement.
- The crime occurred on federal property – When a crime is committed on federal grounds, criminal charges will be filed in federal court. For example, while robbery is generally considered a state crime, it will be considered a federal crime if a person robs a bank whose deposits are insured by federal authorities.
- The crime happened in more than one state – When a crime occurs in multiple states, then the criminal case will be held in federal court. Common examples include bringing illegal drugs across state lines or into the country and using the U.S. mail system to scam consumers.
- Federal and state authorities will decide – In some situations, state and federal authorities will determine whether your criminal case will be tried in federal court. Sometimes local police refer a case to federal agencies.
Whether you are facing state or federal charges, our Nassau County criminal defense attorneys at Foley Griffin can handle both types of criminal cases. Our firm can protect your rights and future, as well as create an effective defense strategy on your behalf to obtain the best possible results.
Contact us and schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team today.