State vs. Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer: 3 Key Differences

State vs. Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer: 3 Key Differences

When it comes to criminal defense lawyers, there are state attorneys as well as federal attorneys. State criminal defense attorneys are quite similar to federal criminal defense attorneys, except a few differences. Knowing these differences is important, especially if you plan to hire a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer. This post aims to shed light on the key differences between these two types of attorneys.


Key Differences between State & Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers:

1. A federal criminal defense attorney defends cases involving violation of federal laws. Federal laws are the laws of the central government that are established under the constitution of the U.S. Therefore, such cases are tried in federal courts, not in state courts.

For example, if smuggling of illegal drugs occurs into the country or they are transported across the state lines, federal agencies take the necessary actions. A fraud by US mail service would be tried in a federal court too, not in state court. Similarly, if any crime is committed on a federal land, like a national park or a military base, the case would be tried in a federal court.

A bank robbery usually falls under the violation of the state law, until and unless there are federally insured deposits.


2. Another remarkable difference is that a state prosecutor does not try federal cases; rather they are tried by the US Attorney’s office. The reason behind is that the office of the US attorney can invest relatively more time to the cases undertaken for prosecution. They spend substantially more amount of time working on such cases. Moreover, federal prosecutors are generally equipped with huge resources to use.


3. In general, federal prosecutors are extremely well-qualified academically and are highly experienced. This makes it a bit difficult to hire federal criminal defense lawyers.


Due to the above mentioned and other reasons, the federal cases involve a higher level of legal complexity, and they are tougher to defend. A federal Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer doesn’t occasionally defend a federal case. The lawyer should be equipped with an extensive experience of federal criminal defense. He/she should also have familiarity with the specific office that would be prosecuting the case.

If you need to avail the services of a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, consider getting a thorough understanding of the role of federal and state criminal defense lawyers. This would help you choose the right type of attorney.