What is the Difference Between a Federal Crime and a State Crime?


Federal and state crimes differ by codes and laws. A federal crime is one in which the defendant breaks a federal legal code. This is a violation of a statute that has been passed by the United States Congress. A state crime is a violation of an ordinance or statute passed by the local authority and state legislature. Laws and constitutions vary state by state; some crimes fall under both categories.

What is a federal crime?

A federal crime is a criminal action that concerns the nation as a whole. Federal crimes can range from computer crimes to identity theft. If you have committed a federal crime, you could be investigated by government agencies such as the IRS, DEA and FBI. When a federal case goes to trail, it will not be prosecuted by a district or state attorney. All federal crimes are prosecuted by a United States Attorney. If convicted, the offender will be sentenced according to federal guidelines and may be sentenced to time in federal prison.

Federal crimes include, but are not limited to the following:

What is a state crime?

State crimes are criminal acts that vary state by state. Most crimes, whether technically labeled state or federal, will fall under the umbrella of a state crime.

What penalties could I be facing?

The majority of criminal prosecutions take place in state courts. Here, the state has power over the accused to arrest, try, charge and convict them. Penalties vary based on the seriousness of the crime you have been accused of. Under state criminal codes, the state judicial system will make all sentencing decisions.

If your matter relates to the federal government, they have complete jurisdiction over your criminal acts. Whether the individual committed the criminal act on federal property or his or her actions crossed state lines, the federal government has power over you and you have the right to a trial under the sixth amendment.

Under the U.S. Constitution and Federal Statutes, your involvement in a federal crime may result in the following sanctions:

  • Criminal prosecution
  • Search and seizures
  • Heavy bail amounts
  • Cruel and unusual punishment

Do I need an attorney?

Yes. Regardless of the specifics of your criminal charges, it is essential that you contact an experienced attorney. I have over a decade of experience in the criminal defense of federal and state crimes and have successfully represented numerous individuals facing charges such as yours. My extensive knowledge regarding both federal and state laws will allow me to build a tailor-made defense strategy on your behalf.

If you have been accused of a crime, do not hesitate to contact my firm. Your hearing is just around the corner and time is running out. Contact Christopher G. Thomarios, Esq. LLC today to schedule your initial consultation.

Related Posts
  • How Does A Criminal Record Affect A Professional License? Read More
  • Am I Eligible For A First Offender Program In Ohio? Read More
  • How to Hire the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Akron Read More