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Charleston State and Federal Crimes Lawyer

If you or someone you care about is facing a criminal charge at the state or federal level, you may be experiencing a complex web of legal confusion on top of a complex web of emotions that can make it difficult to know where to turn for the help you need. The most important first step that anyone in your challenging position can take is reaching out for the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Charleston criminal defense attorney

Federal Crimes

In situations in which any of the following apply, you may face federal charges:

  • The alleged criminal act in question was committed on federal land
  • The alleged criminal act in question was committed against a federal officer
  • The alleged criminal act involved crossing a state line
  • The alleged criminal act violated a specific federal statute.

Common examples of federal charges include all the following:

  • Kidnapping that crosses state lines
  • Interstate drug or weapons violations or trafficking
  • Participation in interstate criminal organizations or conspiracies
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Violations of banking regulations
  • Investment, mail, or bank fraud
  • Violations related to federal statutes like insider trading

Federal Charges

Federal charges tend to be more legally challenging, and they tend to carry harsher penalties. To begin, federal convictions carry mandatory minimum sentences that are generally considerably longer than state sentences – even for similar crimes.

Federal and State Judicial Procedures

Additionally, state and federal judicial procedures are distinct from one another – and their courts are separate. State and federal courts have their own judges and their own prosecuting attorneys, and each employs its own unique rules of procedure.

While every federal court follows the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, state courts – including those in South Carolina – follow the rules that are unique to their state, as laid down by their state courts and legislatures. These distinctions can affect the outcome of your criminal case.

When a Charge Falls under Both Jurisdictions

When a criminal charge can be levied under both state and federal laws, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution applies. In these cases, which often involve high-level drug charges, federal law has higher priority, and federal authorities are afforded the discretion to determine whether the defendant will be tried in a state or federal court.

State Charges

There are certain kinds of charges that are routinely tried as state crimes, including all the following:

  • DUI charges
  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Assault
  • Manslaughter
  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Embezzlement
  • Indecent exposure

You Can Face a Charge at Both the State and Federal Level

Ultimately, you can be charged for a crime at both the state and federal level – without double jeopardy being invoked. States are considered separate sovereignties from the federal government, and double jeopardy includes a dual sovereignty doctrine that allows each sovereignty to prosecute defendants separately if both a state and federal crime is alleged.

An Experienced Charleston Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

The practiced Charleston criminal defense attorneys at Query Sautter & Associates are well-versed in both state and federal criminal law and have ample experience skillfully guiding a wide range of cases toward favorable resolutions in both challenging arenas. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact us online or call 843-795-9500 today.