Federal vs. State Crimes

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Federal vs. State Crimes | Fort Worth, Texas Criminal Defense Attorney
July 29, 2015

Federal vs. State Crimes

Federal vs. State (Texas) Crimes

Beasley Law Firm – For Superior Criminal Defense Representation

     Attorney Bruce Beasley, the founder of the Beasley Law Firm, has more than two decades of experience handling all types of criminal matters. If you’ve been accused of a crime, the Beasley law firm can help. Bruce Beasley’s mission is to zealously protect their client’s legal and constitutional rights, interests, and freedom. Over the course of his career, Mr. Beasley has helped countless people through extremely difficult and challenging times by providing the strongest defense possible. To learn more about attorney Bruce Beasley and how he can make a difference for you, contact the Beasley Law Firm today

Federal vs. State (Texas) Crimes

     Under the U.S. system of justice, both the state and the federal government have separate and distinct jurisdiction, including their own respective criminal codes, procedures, statutes and judges. Federal judges, unlike Texas state court judges, are appointed by the President of the United States, confirmed by the United States Senate and serve for life. Texas state court judges are actually politicians and become judges by winning local and statewide political races and typically serve for four-year terms.

      Although most crimes are prosecuted in state court, there are some crimes that may be prosecuted in either state or federal court. When a person is charged with a crime for which there is a jurisdictional overlap between federal and state law, the respective prosecutors’ offices determine where the crime(s) will be charged and prosecuted. Occasionally, a crime may charged and prosecuted in both state and federal court.

     Many federal criminal laws are contained in Title 18 of the United States Code. A few crimes, such as tax evasion and possession of weapons banned by the National Firearms Act, are criminalized in Title 26 of the U.S. Code, while Texas’s criminal offenses and penalties are contained largely in the Texas Penal Code.

There are literally thousands of different types of federal crimes with dozens of federal agencies charged with the authority to investigate and enforce these laws. These agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Agency; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and the Secret Service, to name just a few. In Texas, some of the crimes commonly charged in federal court include:

  • drug trafficking or possession
  • immigration offenses such as smuggling or transporting of aliens
  • weapons or firearm charges
  • computer crimes
  • federal sex crimes
  • certain violent crimes including terrorist threats; and
  • white collar crimes such as money laundering or bank fraud.

     If there is jurisdictional overlap, the prosecutors’ decision often hinges on the seriousness of the alleged criminal act, for example, taking into account the amount/type of drugs, weapons, the number of individuals involved in the alleged smuggling, or the amount of money involved in the alleged fraud.

     Being charged with a crime in federal court is incredibly serious, and the accused’s need for competent counsel is both immediate and essential. This cannot be stressed enough. Generally speaking, federal penalties are harsher than in Texas state court, with many crimes having mandatory sentencing. Moreover, federal prosecutors typically have both more experience and legal ability, having worked their way up through the justice system, and this helps to increase their conviction rate. For example, according to government statistics, the criminal conviction rate in federal court rate rose from approximately 85% between 1972 and 1992, to 97% in 2012. The current conviction rate statewide in Texas is approximately 84%.

Contact the Beasley Law Firm Today to Learn More

     Whether you are facing a federal or state criminal charge, it is imperative that you retain the best and most capable defense counsel as quickly as possible. While no lawyer is able to guarantee a particular result, the Beasley Law Firm has a solid record of achieving excellent results for its clients over the past two decades.

     Attorney Bruce Beasley, the firm’s founder, is well regarded by his peers for his superior courtroom skills and exceptional knowledge of criminal law. In fact, Bruce Beasley was recognized in 2013 by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the top 100 Trial Lawyers nationwide, is continually recognized by the votes of his peers as one of Tarrant County’s Top Attorneys and is an AV rated attorney.

Bruce Beasley makes it a point to be personally available to his clients throughout the entire process. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your future to retain the best Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer you can find. Call today for a free initial consultation at (817) 338- 1877, or contact us online.

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