If you face federal criminal charges, you likely have numerous questions about the case. There are many important differences between state and federal criminal cases. Not only do different laws apply in federal cases, there are often different associated penalties as well.
For example, many federal charges have mandatory minimum sentences. This means that someone convicted of certain federal crimes will face a minimum number of years in prison.
Contact a Montgomery County federal criminal lawyer who can mitigate potential penalties you may face. An adept defense attorney can protect your rights during the investigation and trial, and defend you against the charges.
What is the main difference between a state criminal case and federal one? While there are many distinctions between these two types of cases, perhaps the biggest one is jurisdiction.
The jurisdiction of a case determines which laws apply, the potential penalties, and many other factors of a case. Crimes that occur in Maryland, and violate state law, are generally under Maryland’s jurisdiction (unless a federal law was also violated).
This means state prosecutors and law enforcement handle the case, and the state criminal code applies. When someone violates federal law, as dictated by the United States Code, they will be prosecuted in a federal case.
Generally, federal offenses are those considered to harm the United States government (such as terrorism) or harm the nation in some way. Often, federal crimes are those that occur across multiple states.
For example, when someone crosses state lines with federally prohibited drugs and an intent to sell those drugs, they could face drug trafficking charges. Some other common examples of federal crimes include:
If someone has been charged with a federal crime, their main concern is likely what potential penalties they face if convicted. However, people should also consider how their rights will be protected over the course of their case. Federal laws guarantee certain rights to those charged with crimes.
These rights protect criminal defendants before, during, and after arrest, including during investigation. For example, the police cannot search a person or their property without cause or a warrant. They also must have cause or a warrant to seize someone’s home and other property.
Sometimes, police do not follow the law, and mishandle or illegally seize evidence of an alleged crime. Importantly, the law also prohibits prosecutors from using evidence when that evidence was unlawfully seized by law enforcement. A Montgomery County federal criminal lawyer can ensure that police and prosecutors follow the law. If they do not, the defense attorney will be there to protect clients from police mistakes.
If you are facing a federal charge, you are likely dealing with one of the most stressful situations you have ever encountered. Fortunately, you do not have to handle your case alone.
In order to protect your rights and yourself, you need to hire an experienced defense attorney. Your Montgomery County federal criminal lawyer can protect you during the investigation and defend you in court.
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