In our lifetime, we are bound to make mistakes. We are humans after all, and we are as imperfect as it seems. As much as we don’t want these mistakes to happen, there are circumstances that can lead to such situations. Sometimes, we don’t even want to be in these situations as it just happens to us. However, we cannot just blame our own humanity to all of these mistakes.
We know the consequences of every action that we do, especially if we know that it is against the law. There are a lot of rules and regulations that the government has been implementing for a very long time. From the simplest to the most heinous of crimes, we must be familiar with them as citizens of this great country.
However, there are cases wherein we might be in far more complicated situations. Being accused of committing a crime is already troublesome enough. You have to do a lot of explaining in order to justify your innocence. This is already the best outcome of this situation as you do not need to face the court. All you need to do is be honest as possible and explain your own side of the story. On the other hand, this can still take the turn for the worst. Whether you have done the crime or you were just another victim, you would have to undergo a lot of inquiries.
Common Types of Crimes
Before all of that though, let us distinguish the type of crimes that can be committed: State and Federal Crimes. There are many people who are actually confused by the two of these since they are all alike. After all, all they are the same, right? However, there is a big difference between these two. Even here in California, there are laws that are different from the rest of the country. Read more about this here.
If there is one aspect that really distinguishes the state from federal crimes is the severity or range. Federal crimes are the most serious of two as it has involved higher government agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service. These also cover larger areas of crime like computer or internet fraud, drug trafficking and planning and/or executing an assassination for the President. These are also crimes that you would usually see on the national headlines.
State crimes, on the other hand, are the ones handled by the local authorities like the county sheriffs and local police officers. These are more common crimes like assault, sexual misconduct, kidnapping, and misdemeanor. As these crimes are handled by the local authorities, these are also most likely to be settled in the local courts.
Crime and Punishment, Anyone?
The punishment for these two is also varying depending on the severity if the crime. Generally, federal crimes have longer sentences due to their coverage in the law. These crimes are also considered as very serious by the general populace. State crimes, on the other hand, have shorter sentences but it doesn’t mean that they are not very serious. There are cases for state crimes that are also on par with a federal crime for the length of sentence. Any kind of crime has a corresponding consequence and this is just one of them.
Another main difference between state and federal crime is the court that will be presiding for the case. For state crime, it is only the federal courts that can handle it. The proceedings will also need a statement from the federal department concerned with the case. For example, if it is a drug-related case, the US Food and Drug Association will most probably be involved. They can prove the legitimacy of the drug claim or testify against the defendant on the issue. On the other hand, state crimes are handled by the local state judges.
This is why there is also a distinction between the district and federal attorneys. It is important that you need to hire someone who has the capability of defending your case. Even though all attorneys can handle general cases, you really do need someone who has a lot of knowledge with their distinctive fields. You can hire a divorce attorney for your murder case, but why would you even do that? It’s like buying a cow and expecting it to act like a horse.
Basics of Appeals
Another part of any federal case is the right for appeals. You may have seen this done in so many movies and television shows but there is still some confusion involving appellation. Appeals can only be done after a verdict has been done. It also needs to be done within 10 days after the verdict was passed. If this was not done, then the appeal will be denied. This is why you really need a California appeals attorney to handle your case on any of six districts here in this state.
In almost all cases, an appeal cannot revert the previous verdict. This is a misconception that has plagued the justice system for years now. An appeals attorney can only ask for a lighter punishment like a shorter prison sentence. Even though reversions are rare, it is still important to have a competent lawyer that can handle your case with integrity and honor. Even though you might be tempted to use unsavory methods to help you with your case, it would be more problematic for you once the court finds out. Your appeal can be denied and your sentence will also increase.