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Why Federal Crimes Require Federal Attorneys

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The federal court system sits on top of, and in many cases runs parallel to, the state court systems. There is a long list of federal crimes that can land you in federal court. Every one of them is very serious. More than 90% of defendants in the federal court system are eventually convicted or plead guilty. If you have been charged with a federal crime, it is essential that you talk your case over with qualified federal attorneys. They can help you protect your rights and answer the charges against you.

What is a Federal Crime?

Federal crimes are criminal offenses that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government for one reason or another. One of the most common reasons for a crime to be tried in federal court is that the act crossed state lines. The federal courts also tend to get involved in cases with international implications. Those involving foreign nationals, or in cases with a constitutional question to be resolved. Copyright and other intellectual property crimes are usually charged in federal court. You can also go to federal court as a defendant for some crimes that would usually be charged at the state level. These include robbery and murder. However, the federal system also has jurisdiction over them.

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Going to Federal Court

Defendants in federal courts are protected by the same rights as defendants in state courts. However, the process for invoking and preserving those rights can be slightly different. Rules for discovery, for example, tend to be stricter and more formal in federal court. This cuts down on surprise witnesses and gives every party more opportunity to review the evidence before testimony. Federal court judges also have the tendency to be strict with lawyers and defendants. Most judges in the federal system have been appointed by the president for terms ranging between 8 years and life.