It is essential to know the difference between federal and state crimes. At the most basic, federal crimes and the ones that the federal government charges you for, while state crimes are ones that the state will handle.
The majority of crimes in Texas occur at the state level. However, knowing the difference between them is still a good idea.
Federal and state crimes
The majority of crimes occur at the state level. State courts handle significantly more cases. State crimes include:
Federal crimes are fewer because they must demand national interest, such as counterfeiting or terrorism.
Federal and state enforcement
State or local police representing the Texas Penal Code enforce state laws and bring charges for Texas crimes. Federal agencies will implement federal regulations. The offense determines which national office which charges an individual.
Federal and state representation
The federal government has several district and circuit courts. Meanwhile, Texas has state courts. Therefore, someone with experience in federal courts should handle those crimes. On the other hand, legal professionals who operate more locally can take on state crimes.
In some cases, the federal and state governments share jurisdiction. This joint jurisdiction usually occurs when laws overlap, such as most laws stemming from the commerce clause. The parties bringing the charges will decide whether to take these to a federal or state court. However, joint jurisdiction can result in the state and federal courts trying someone if the first court produces an acquittal.
Knowing the difference between these crimes can help people charged with one of them find the proper representation. It can also help them understand the potential for the next steps taken in their case.