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What is the difference between federal and state charges?

In the criminal justice system, no two cases are the same. Judges often search for consistency between different cases in terms of making legal rulings, based on the similarity of facts or legal issues involved. In addition, different legal strategies and decisions are often made based on past experience involving similar cases. However, even when cases appear to be largely the same, there can be seemingly minor differences between the cases that make all the different to St. Louis residents.

One major difference that always must be taken into consideration is the court in which the charges are brought. There are often state and federal laws that can apply to the same allegations. In other words, the same alleged conduct by the person could be charged in federal court or state court, or even both in certain circumstances.

However, there are significant differences between federal charges and state charges, even if the underlying allegations are similar. To begin with, there are differences in federal and state court procedure. It is vital that individuals facing criminal charges understand the procedure of the court in which they are charged, including the discovery requirements where information is exchanged between the parties and different hearings that may be involved.

There can also be different penalties at stake if the person is convicted of the charges. While a conviction in state court can carry serious penalties, typically the penalties in federal court are much more severe, and this can have an impact on the strategies used in the case or the potential plea deals that may be in play.

Our firm has years' worth of experience in defending cases in both state and federal court. Accordingly, we understand the differences between federal and state cases, and how to advocate on behalf of our clients in each setting. For more information, please visit our St. Louis Federal Criminal Defense webpage.

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Frank, Juengel & Radefeld,
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7710 Carondelet Avenue
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St. Louis, MO 63105

Phone: 314-282-8657
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