Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
Differences Between State & Federal Charges

Differences Between State & Federal Charges

State courts and federal courts are the foundation of the U.S. justice system. Although the U.S. Constitution allows states the power to govern themselves, but when the entire country’s welfare is concerned, federal law overtakes state law—under the “Supremacy Clause” of the U.S. Constitution.

The following factors are what separates state courts from federal courts:

  1. Establishment – While the state and municipalities preside over local and state courts, the U.S. Constitution decides Congress' laws and constitutional disputes.
  2. Jurisdiction – Jurisdiction is considered the types of cases heard by the courts. State courts generally have a broad jurisdiction, which is why more crimes are prosecuted at a state level compared to the federal level. However, they do not hear cases involving lawsuits against the U.S. and particular federal laws (e.g. criminal, antitrust, copyright, patent, bankruptcy, and several maritime cases). Generally brought on by Congress, federal court jurisdiction is limited to cases recorded in the Constitution . However, there are some cases involving both state and federal court jurisdiction, also known as “dual sovereignty.”
  3. Criminal cases – Since most crimes occur at the state level, state courts preside over these criminal cases. However, state crimes that break federal laws can only be tried in federal court. For example, drug trafficking is considered a state crime, but if the offense involved more than one state or country, then it is considered a federal offense. While robbery is a crime punished by state law, robbery of a bank where a federal agency insured the money and assets will be tried in federal court.

If you’ve been arrested for a federal crime in Kansas or Missouri, our Kansas City criminal defense attorney at Stein Law, LLC is ready to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. With more than 25 years of combined experience, we understand what it takes to help you obtain the best results possible.

For more information, contact us and request a free consultation today.


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