If you’ve committed a federal crime, you could be looking at charges through the federal system. The trouble with federal charges is that they are crimes that violate federal laws. Often, they’re felonies. Felonies come with minimum penalties and serious fines, and they’re often difficult to defend against.

If you are charged with a crime, it’s better to fight to keep the charges in the state courts. State courts and federal courts are different, and the outcome for similar cases could vary widely. For instance, a robbery charged at the federal level might have minimum penalties, but the same crime charged at the state level could have no minimums. This is something that is extremely important when working on a defense and potential plea bargain.

What happens when a crime violates federal and state laws?

In that case, both courts may have jurisdiction. In that situation, the prosecution could have you tried in state or federal court. It’s then that your defense attorney would likely fight to keep the case at the state level since the likelihood of harsh penalties would be lower in many cases. However, it is necessary to look at state penalties versus federal penalties before deciding which one is a safer route for the case.

In most situations, your case can be resolved with a plea deal. With pleas, you may be given a lesser sentence or lower penalty in exchange for pleading guilty or taking other actions. It’s something to consider, especially if the outcome of your case is not guaranteed or has the potential to be more limiting than the plea.