The U.S. Constitution created a federal system of government, which features a balance of power between the federal government and state governments. Because of federalism, individuals may be tried in either state or federal court, depending on the nature of the criminal charges.

The state and federal court systems differ in several key ways, including which types of cases they have jurisdiction over. Although there are differences, and although federal courts have extensive resources to aggressively prosecute and penalize offenders, representation is essential in any state or federal case – especially for those who want to protect their freedom and future.

Our team at the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass can help you learn more about state crimes, federal crimes, and your unique case. Contact us for a FREE consultation!

Federal Court Jurisdiction

The federal court system has a more limited jurisdiction than do state courts. Federal judges can hear cases that are listed in the Constitution. They routinely hear cases that involve the constitutionality of a law or any case that involves U.S. laws and treaties. The federal court system also has jurisdiction over cases in which the U.S. is a defendant or plaintiff, and those that involve parties of different states, assuming the amount in controversy is in excess of $75,000.

Key distinctions of federal cases include:

  • Crimes committed in multiple state / across state lines
  • Crimes committed on federal property
  • Crimes of serious importance which are heavily penalized
  • Large scale fraud / financial crimes – white collar crimes
  • Federal mandatory minimum sentences in certain cases

State Court Jurisdiction

The state court system is responsible for making the final decision regarding the interpretation of state laws and constitutions. A case that involves an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution or federal law can be appealed to the Supreme Court, which may or may not hear those cases. “Lesser crimes” such as domestic violence, DWI, and low-level drug crimes are usually prosecuted at the state level. However, crimes such as murder, fraud, and other serious offenses can be state crimes as well.

Discuss Your Case with a Proven State & Federal Defense Lawyer in Plano, Texas

Since 1993, Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass has been vigorously defending the rights of those accused of state and federal crimes. If you live in the Dallas or Plano areas and you have been charged with a crime, contact us for a FREE consultation.