Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Charges in State Court v. Federal Court

Posted on: July 1, 2007 at 8:25 p.m.

Federal court cases are typically investigated by federal agencies, including the FBI, DEA, Customs, Treasury, and other federal agencies. Sometimes state and local agencies also file charges in federal court if the offenses involve major quantity of drugs, weapons or other contraband. The federal government has more resources to prosecute cases, including special units to prosecute drugs, fraud, and violent crimes. While the state and local government also has special units, they have fewer prosecutors, with larger case loads. Also, local law enforcement does not have nearly an many resources to complete investigations with as much thoroughness as federal law enforcement. For the most part, it is definitely in a criminal defendant's interest to be prosecuted in state, rather than federal court. The state of California's sentencing system has more flexibility in terms of alternative sentencing options than the United States Sentencing Guidelines. In one large drug cases, a criminal defense attorney had his client cooperate with the police in exchange for the case to be presented to the state, rather than federal authorities for prosecution

Tagged as: california criminal laws, federal law and defense, high profile defense


Law Blog on July 10, 2007 at 8:55 a.m. wrote:

The crime of Robbery (taking property or monies by use of force or threat) is an example of a criminal offense which may be prosecuted in state or federal court. Bank Robberies are mostly prosecuted by the federal government although the state would also have jurisdiction. Banks are financial institutions which usually have branches in multiple states. They are insured and regulated by federal agencies. Compare this to a string of robberies of liquor stores. These are typically prosecuted in state court, as the matter is considered a 'local' crime issue which usually does not cross state lines.

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