Alternatively, you will be tried in a federal district court located within your state if you broke a law that is specifically considered a federal law. In these cases you will be tried by the U.S. Attorney’s office on behalf of the people of the United States.
Difference in How Cases Proceed
Whether your case is heard in a federal court or a state court does not really affect how it is handled but instead how it proceeds. Basically, this means that the steps will be the same but might produce different results.
For instance, there are differences in either the use or non-use of grand juries. Also, the way that discovery evidence is filed may be conducted differently between a federal versus a state trial.
Differences in Punishments between State and Federal Cases
In terms of guidelines for punishment, the federal and state court systems use different sources to tell them how to proceed. The federal courts refer to the “Federal Sentencing Guidelines” in order to help them determine penalties. These inform the court’s decision but are not mandatory so you could either receive a more severe or less severe sentence than what is recommended.
State courts, on the other hand, must abide by state legislation. This legislation outlines minimum and maximum punishments for each crime. This affects you in the following way; if you are accused of burglary and the state legislation advises a 3-5-7 year punishment scale then your judge must consider the facts surrounding your case and determine whether you should receive the low, medium, or highest possible punishment for your crime.
Contacting a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges in South Florida, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the Miami criminal defense attorneys at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – (877) 663-5110.