Federal vs. State Charges: What’s the Difference?

Federal vs. State Charges: What's the Difference?

There are several critical differences between federal and state criminal charges. From the type of crimes involved to the length of sentences and what venue a crime should be prosecuted, federal and state charges can differ significantly and have serious, life-altering consequences.

State Criminal Charges

State crimes typically include moderate to mild violations such as DWI/DUI cases, sexual assault, theft, homicide & murder, drug trafficking, Medicaid & Medicare fraud, and other crimes. When a violation is committed in a certain state, it is prosecuted by the local or state court under the State’s laws. This can affect how charges are classified and the length of sentencing for specific charges.

Federal Criminal Charges

Federal crimes are severe violations that are committed on federal property or directly involve the government, such as mail fraud, drug trafficking and possession (particularly when shipped across state lines), violent crimes (assault & battery), embezzlement, tax fraud, and other violations of federal laws.

How Federal and State Charges Differ

Federal charges typically carry harsher penalties and higher fines than State charges, and sentencing guidelines are generally longer than State sentences. However, both federal and state charges can come with serious, life-altering consequences if convicted, such as difficulty getting a job, obtaining housing, and even forfeiture of certain civil rights, such as the right to possess a firearm, serve on a jury, or receive federal cash assistance and other benefits.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you have been charged with a state or federal crime in Missouri, it’s essential to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP has over 75 years of combined experience in criminal defense cases and will diligently fight to protect your rights. For a free, no-risk consultation, contact Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP today.