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Federal Crimes Vs. State Crimes

by | Dec 2, 2022 | Criminal Charges, Criminal Defense |

When we talk about crimes, we can find a lot of differences between federal crimes and state crimes. Depending on the type of criminal code violation you are accused of, you may have to face your charges in state or federal court.

Federal Crime

Federal crimes refer specifically to offenses that violate the United States’ federal laws. These crimes are investigated by federal law enforcement and prosecuted by United States attorneys in federal courts with federal judges. While many of these offenses are distinctive to the federal system, they also include crimes that would otherwise fall under state or local jurisdictions had they not occurred on U.S. federal property or on an Indian reservation.

Federal Crimes Examples

  • IRS (tax) violations 
  • Mail fraud
  • Drug trafficking/drug possession
  • Kidnapping 
  • Counterfeiting bills
  • Immigration crimes 
  • Copyright infractions
  • Child pornography 
  • Piracy


State Crime

Most of the common crimes (murder, robbery, burglary, arson, theft, and rape) are considered state crimes. State legislators have used their general police powers to regulate the conduct, and the state court has jurisdiction to decide the case.

State legislators follow laws that punish all of these crimes. The criminal statute defines what acts are prohibited and the penalty for violating the law.

State Crimes Examples 

  • DUI-DWI-Vehicular Crimes
  • White Collar Crime
  • Crimes against Children
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Aggravated Assault & Homicide
  • Violent Crimes
  • Real Estate Fraud
  • Forgery and Check Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Domestic Violence

Difference Between Federal Crime and State Crime

A federal crime is an act that is declared illegal due to a violation of the United States Code or other federal law. Federal crimes boil down to where the court proceedings will occur (jurisdiction). For a state crime, court will be held in the city or county where the crime was committed. For a federal crime, there are three levels to the court system: district court, court of appeals, and the Supreme Court.


Why Do I Need a Good And Experience Lawyer

If you are accused of committing a federal or state crime, you will need the help and advice of a good and experienced lawyer to facilitate your entire criminal process and reach the best result for you. The consequences of committing a crime can be very serious; if you commit a federal or state crime, you will be sent to a federal or state prison, and you must know that federal and state cases typically have harsher penalties, so you must be careful about who is defending you.

Federal cases function in a similar fashion to state cases, but rules can differ, and it is important that your lawyer knows how to deal with them. It is imperative to work with an attorney who has extensive experience and a strong reputation in the legal community.

Attorney Russell Spatz of Spatz Law Firm, PL, in Miami, Florida, has more than 40 years of experience. He is a former prosecutor and division chief in the office of the Miami-Dade state attorney. No matter what situation you find yourself in, trial attorney Russell Spatz has the knowledge and experience to fight for your best interests. He handles nearly all criminal defense matters.

To meet with Attorney Russell Spatz to discuss your criminal matter, please call the Spatz Law Firm, PL, at 305-442-0200.

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