Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
Differences Between Federal & Kansas State Crimes

Differences Between Federal & Kansas State Crimes

Most people charged with a crime have broken the law, but did you know that not all laws are created by the federal government? A majority of the laws citizens must follow are created by the state they live in. Many state and federal laws are similar in nature, but as you will see, there are a variety of critical differences when the two are compared side-by-side.

Types of Crime

The breaking of state laws account for a majority of the crimes prosecuted across the United States; however, many people commit federal crimes as well. In 2016, there were 67,874 federal crimes prosecuted to the point of sentencing; this is only a fraction of the federal crimes committed in the United States.

Federal crimes include:

  • Tax evasion;
  • Possession of certain illegal weapons;
  • Mail fraud;
  • Carjacking;
  • Kidnapping across state lines;
  • Bank robbery;
  • Child pornography;
  • Credit card fraud;
  • Identity theft;
  • Computer crimes;
  • Illegal wiretapping;
  • Damaging or destroying public mailboxes;
  • Drug trafficking;
  • Electoral fraud; and
  • Immigration offences.

Common state crimes include:

  • Assault/battery;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Stalking;
  • Robbery;
  • Homicide;
  • Sexual battery;
  • DUI;
  • Sexual Assault;
  • Possession charges; and
  • Most juvenile crimes.

Who Prosecutes the Defendant

One of the main differences between state and federal crimes is the entity that prosecutes the trial. When people are charged with state crimes, the team of prosecutors who go to trial are paid, trained, and assembled by the state. Therefore, if someone is accused of a DUI on a Kansas road, he or she will be prosecuted by men and women who work for the state of Kansas in a county or state courthouse.

When people are charged with federal crimes, the team of prosecutors who go to trial are paid, trained, and assembled by the federal government. Therefore, if someone is charged with a DUI in a national park, he or she will be prosecuted by men and women who work for the United States federal government in a federal court most convenient/relevant to the accused’s location.

Side note: if someone commits a crime that breaks state and federal laws, he or she may be prosecuted by both the state and federal government for the actions he or she committed. As a result of this rule, someone prosecuted by both the state and federal government may be convicted for both charges, or he or she may face a conviction from a single entity. Therefore, even if the accused earns a “not guilty” verdict for a crime at the state level, he or she could earn a “guilty” verdict at the federal level for the same act.

Sentences & Other Punishments

The last significant difference between state and federal crimes is the severity of punishments and the length of sentences. Generally speaking, federal sentencing guidelines are much stricter than state sentencing guidelines. Additionally, those who break federal law are likely to pay heavier fines than those who violate state laws.

Need Federal or State Representation?

Regardless of your criminal law needs, Rokusek Stein Law is here to help. Our attorneys have experience with both Kansas state and federal crimes, which means we can handle any case you may have. There’s no time to lose, contact us now!

Want to make sure we’re right for your case? Call (913) 583-0465 now for a free consultation!

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