Crime in the U.S. is prosecuted at a local, statal, and federal level, depending on the severity of the crime and the law that was broken. A federal crime is one that violates the U.S. Constitution or a law passed by Congress. Federal crimes often interfere with the work of government agencies like the IRS (tax fraud), US Postal Service (mail fraud), DEA (moving drugs across state lines), etc. In addition, crimes in which the U.S. is a party are prosecuted in federal courts. If you have been charged with a federal crime, you need to get help from federal defense attorneys with experience in federal courts and who understand how they work.
One of the main differences between federal and state courts is the amount of time the prosecution is able to devote to your case. For one thing, federal attorneys carry a much smaller caseload than state attorneys. In addition, unlike state prosecutors, federal prosecutors work together with federal law enforcement officials as the case is being investigated, so they have already devoted considerable time and resources to a case before it comes to court.
Another difference is in the court scheduling. State courts handle far more cases than federal courts so that cases are scheduled back to back, often being postponed or even dismissed if the prosecution hasn’t had time to prepare. Federal courts see relatively few cases, but spend a great deal of time on them. A federal judge is likely to hear only one case per day.
When a state judge sets bail, the defendant just needs to get the money, perhaps with the help of a bonding agency. A federal judge, however, is likely to set more conditions, which can include pre-trial supervision by a pre-trial services officer. Other conditions might include mental health testing, a review of financial records, or electronic monitoring, depending on the charge.
Federal court cases tend to be more complex and more aggressively prosecuted than state cases. Thus, if you or a loved one has been charged with a federal crime, you will need an experienced lawyer or team of lawyers on your side. To learn more about federal defense attorneys, go to Addairthurston.com. You can also follow them on Twitter for more updates.