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Last Updated on: 28th October 2023, 12:54 pm
Differences in State vs Federal Violent Crime Charges in Boston
Being charged with a violent crime is scary, no matter what. To get the best defense, you gotta know if it’s a state or federal charge. That decides what laws and punishments apply. Let’s break it down so you understand this tricky justice system better.
State vs Federal Crimes – What’s the Diff?
To prosecute someone for a crime, the government’s gotta have jurisdiction. If it happens in Massachusetts and breaks MA law, the state prosecutes it. If it’s on federal property, the feds prosecute. But sometimes state and federal overlap.
Usually state prosecutes, but feds might for:
- Immigration stuff
- Drug trafficking
- White collar crimes
- Mail fraud
- Cross-state crimes
- Federal property crimes
Sometimes violent crimes like murder can be federal too. It’s important to know how it’s classified – state or federal. Prosecutors often choose which to pursue.
Consequences of Federal Crimes
Federal crime penalties vary by offense. Sometimes they’re less than state – like tax fraud vs murder. But when they overlap, federal sentences are usually tougher than state ones.
Understand the Charges
You got the right to defend yourself against charges. Best defense means understanding what you’re up against. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, our Boston criminal defense lawyer helps in all MA courts. Don’t try defending yourself – call a lawyer ASAP.
Differences in Laws and Courts
Most crimes involve local laws and state courts. But some violate national laws, so they’re federal. It depends on jurisdiction.
- State Crimes: Breaking MA laws. Assault, theft, murder, DUI – state offenses. MA sets penalties.
- Federal Crimes: Break national laws. Immigration, drugs, guns, mail fraud – federal offenses. Feds set penalties.
Knowing if it’s federal or state matters:
- Jurisdiction – federal property or national laws = federal. MA laws = state.
- Prosecution – federal prosecutors handle national laws, MA DAs handle local laws.
Consult a Boston criminal defense lawyer to understand this complex system.
Case Studies – Federal vs State Trials
Looking at federal cases like fraud or terrorism and state ones like murder shows the processes differ. But both play essential roles.
State DAs convict robbers using force or threats. They prove intent and guilt. Federal and state courts handle different offenses based on jurisdiction. But both follow mandates.
Federal Cases & Consequences
Federal crimes mean big punishments – prison and major fines. Rights differ too – feds have wider reach. Talk to a Boston criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.
State Crime Consequences
Knowing state crime penalties matters. If charged, get an experienced MA criminal lawyer. They know the local laws and defenses.
Felonies vs Misdemeanors in MA
In MA, felonies can mean state prison. Misdemeanors cannot. Check the law – if it says “state prison,” it’s a felony. No state prison = misdemeanor. Our legislature defines them in MA General Laws chapter 274 section 1.
Some key points:
- Felonies can get state prison up to life.
- Misdemeanors get county jail or probation.
- District courts hear misdemeanors and some felonies.
- Superior court hears any criminal case.
Felonies are serious – they can mean substantial prison time and loss of rights/privileges. Misdemeanors usually involve county jail or probation. But both should have an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Infractions, Misdemeanors & Felonies in MA
MA crimes are classified by penalties. If it’s state prison, felony. County jail but no state prison = misdemeanor. Key factors:
- Misdemeanors – no state prison, county jail term under 1 year
- Felonies – possible state prison term, including life
- District courts hear misdemeanors, superior courts hear felonies
Punishments come from MA General Laws Chapter 274 Section 1. Felonies are more serious – they involve prison. Misdemeanors get county jail or probation. But get a lawyer either way.
The Bottom Line
Dealing with violent crime charges is scary and confusing. But learning the differences between state and federal, felonies and misdemeanors, can help you understand what you’re facing. Consult an experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer for guidance on your specific case.
The justice system is complicated, but you got this. Knowledge is power – arm yourself and fight smart. You got people in your corner.