When is a Crime Prosecuted in Federal Court as opposed to State Court?

When is a crime prosecuted in Federal Court as opposed to Sate Court?   Many crimes can be prosecuted under both State and Federal law.  So what determines which path prosecutors pick for a particular crime?  Multiple factors affect this decision such as the following:

•  Geographical Jurisdiction:  If your case crosses state lines, you may be looking at Federal prosecution.  Interstate crimes may include White Collar Crimes, Child Pornography and Drug Trafficking.

•  Federal Interest:  The U.S. Government may choose to prosecute a case because of a national interest.  Examples include crimes against federal officials or frauds against the U.S., including mail fraud, financial crimes and organized crime cases, i.e. RICO violations.

•  Type of Crime:  Certain cimes may only be prosecuted in Federal Court, such as customs crimes, tax offenses, espionage and treason.  Staes tend to prosecute any crimes against a person, such as assaults, crimes against property, including burglary and robbery.

Who Decides Whether a Crime is to be Prosecuted in Federal or State Court?   If there is a choice on where to bring a charge the State and Federal Law Enforcement Officials decide which court is best to handle the matter.  In some cases, the crime can be prosecuted in both State and Federal Court. Wherever prosecutors decide to try a case, the decision cannot be appealed by the accused.

Criminal defense attorneys at Marinaro Law Firm are highly skilled in representing clients charged with criminal offenses.  Call for an appointment - (717) 397-7055 


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