Can I face criminal charges in federal and state courts?
When a Louisiana resident is accused of committing a criminal act it is possible that he or she could face charges based on different types of laws. Prior posts on this blog have discussed the differences between federal courts and the criminal state courts of Louisiana; depending upon the nature of the alleged criminal act the individual may face different charges that are based in the two different court systems.
According to the Federal Judicial Center there are some crimes that are more often handled by the state and others that are usually handled by the federal government. For example, if a federal law or provision of the Constitution is allegedly violated the matter is heard in federal court. Conversely, if a state law is the basis of an alleged criminal act then the matter may be heard in state court.
However, instances can occur when both a state law and a federal law are violated due to the same alleged criminal act or incident. In such circumstances a person may have all of his state and federal matters consolidated into one court system. Depending upon the nature of the person’s alleged criminal acts the state or federal court systems may hear all pertinent claims.
As both state and federal laws apply to a person’s pending criminal charges the opportunities for legal complications to arise can increase. Although not all complications can ever always be avoided, a person facing criminal charges can take steps to prepare himself for the processes of state and federal actions. Legal professionals who work in the field of criminal defense can offer those individuals specific guidance on options for getting through their legal matters.