Contact Info

315 Campbell Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24016

Tel: (540) 342-1851

E-mail: [email protected]

Federal vs. State Charges

Melvin L. Hill Understands Federal and State Criminal Law

Do you need help understanding federal vs. state charges? Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law in Roanoke, VA will explain those differences in this month’s blog. There are a number of variables that may affect whether a state or federal court hears your case. No matter what  position you find yourself in, having the right advocate can help swing a case. Let’s take a closer look at how these cases proceed.


Explaining Jurisdiction and Authority Over the Crimes

One of the primary differences between state and federal charges lies in the jurisdiction and authority that governs each case. The state government brings state charges, and local district attorneys or prosecutors are in charge. These charges arise from violations of state laws, and generally encompass offenses such as theft, drug possession, and assault. On the other hand, the federal government makes federal charges. U.S. attorneys are responsible for trying these cases before federal judges.


There Are Various Penalties for the Offenses

State and federal criminal laws differ in terms of the offenses they cover and the corresponding penalties. Laws in each state can vary from one jurisdiction to another, and penalties are generally less severe compared to federal offenses. State charges typically take place in state courts, and convictions result in a variety of sentences. Those sentences could include probation, fines, community service, and incarceration in state prisons.

Federal laws apply uniformly across the entire country, and federal charges happen in federal district courts. Federal convictions can lead to more severe consequences, including longer prison sentences, hefty fines, and parole under federal supervision.


The Agency Investigating Your Case Can Affect Assignment

State and federal charges involve distinct investigation and enforcement agencies. State law enforcement agencies, such as state police and county sheriff’s offices, investigate and enforce state crimes. These agencies collaborate with local prosecutors to build cases against individuals accused of violating state laws.

Federal law enforcement agencies are responsible for investigating and enforcing federal crimes. The agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These agencies work closely with federal prosecutors to build cases involving violations of federal laws.


Appeals and Legal Proceedings Follow Different Routes

Appeals and legal proceedings for state and federal charges follow different routes. In state cases, appeals generally move through state appellate courts. However, federal appeals go before federal circuit courts of appeal. If necessary, you can appeal them further to the United States Supreme Court. Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law has a proven track record of successfully handling appeals in state and federal courts.



For more on criminal defense, call Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law at (540) 342-1851. Follow our blog for more quality information. We are happy to share more information on federal vs. state charges.