Defend Yourself from State and Federal Charges with a Good Lawyer

by | Apr 22, 2013 | Lawyer

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Should you find yourself accused of a crime, the most important thing to establish is whether you will be prosecuted by the federal government, the state or both. Your legal strategy may vary greatly depending on which of these is the case, and the circumstances of state and federal jurisdiction can be a confusing landscape to navigate for the layman. This is where a criminal lawyer in Bolingbrook can be helpful, functioning as an educated guide to lead you along the best path to legal representation.

State Charges

Most crimes are prosecuted by the state in which the offense occurred and where the state is generally acknowledged to have jurisdiction. This includes crimes such as murder, burglary, weapons charges along with most misdemeanors and felonies. Included are laws that may be unique to the state. For example, while the sale of alcohol in the United States is broadly legal, some states are known to have ‘dry’ counties where such activity is prohibited. The state would be able to prosecute a violation for this even though the federal government considers it legal.

Federal Charges

The Federal government comes into play when criminal activity crosses over into one or more states. This can include the transport of illegal goods from one state to another as well as the transportation of minors over state lines. Internet crimes and embezzlement also fall under the federal umbrella, and you might need to very particular when looking for a professional criminal lawyer Bolingbrook who offers services for federal crimes. The federal government may also prosecute when no state law exists (or opposes) federal law. Washington and California recently passed laws legalizing the use of marijuana, for example, but there are still federal laws declaring both possession and sale of marijuana illegal.

Federal Charges and State Charges

It is possible to be prosecuted by both governing bodies for the same crime as long as the charges are different. To understand this, consider the following case: A person who sold drugs in one state then crossed into another state to sell there could be prosecuted by the Fed for transporting the drugs and by the state for selling them.

Many times this situation will arise if a person should happen to defeat federal charges, only for the state to ‘pick up the slack’ and try for a conviction in their court. This is where you will want a criminal attorneys Bolingbrook who can cover state /and/ federal charges to establish a strong continuity of legal care.

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