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Facing criminal charges can be intimidating under any circumstances. It can be difficult to know what to expect, which makes it hard to plan the right strategy to face the various obstacles criminal charges can present. When the criminal charges you are facing are federal in nature, they can pose additional unique challenges and the stakes may be even higher.

If you are facing federal criminal charges, a well-versed attorney could help you navigate the complex series of events that are likely to follow. Working with a Jefferson County federal criminal lawyer may help you understand the various aspects of the federal criminal process and effectively develop a defense that is right for your circumstances.

How Cases End Up in Federal Court

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution grants states the power to exercise any rights not specifically given to the federal government. This applies to most criminal prosecutions, which typically take place in state or local courts depending on the crime.

However, the federal government prosecutes crimes that occur across state lines. These often include crimes related to drugs and weapons. There are also some federal statutes that may grant federal authority to prosecute a crime that did not occur across state lines and would otherwise be handled in state courts, such as mail and wire fraud crimes.

In addition, crimes that do not occur across state lines but are committed on federal land are also typically handled by federal courts. These may also include crimes that are alleged to have occurred on airplanes or in national parks.

Exclusive Jurisdiction

In some circumstances, federal courts have what is known as exclusive jurisdiction over certain crimes. That means that some crimes can only be prosecuted in a federal court. Congress has the authority to determine what crimes fall into this category.

Currently, exclusively federal crimes include counterfeiting, immigration-related crimes, and mail fraud. Federal courts also handle bankruptcy, although that is a separate matter not typically criminal in nature. Speak with a Jefferson County federal criminal lawyer for more information.

Concurrent Federal and State Charges 

When state and federal statutes governing an offense overlap, the result can be especially troublesome for the individual facing charges based on those statutes. While double jeopardy prevents the government from attempting to prosecute a case for which the defendant was acquitted, a federal acquittal may still allow the state to prosecute the individual on the same charges because it could be considered a separate offense.

Unique Aspects of Federal Court 

Generally, the structures of the state court system and federal court system are the same. YA defendant will likely face charges at a local court initially, usually known as a federal district court at the state level. Both court systems allow convicted individuals the opportunity to appeal a conviction.

However, one of the most important differences between state and federal criminal charges is that federal prosecutors often have more resources at their disposal. The cases can be more complex and time-consuming, which may necessitate the aid of an experienced and dedicated Jefferson County federal criminal lawyer who has experience with the nuances of federal law.

Speak with a Jefferson County Federal Criminal Attorney Today

When it comes to federal criminal charges, there is often a great deal on the line. You may be facing significant financial penalties as well as prison time depending on the nature of your charges.

With so much at stake, an experienced criminal defense attorney could make or break your defense strategy in court. If you are facing these types of charges, get in touch with a Jefferson County federal criminal lawyer to see how they could work with you to protect your rights.

Jefferson County Federal Criminal Lawyer