Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer San Francisco, CA
If you’ve been charged with criminal wrongdoing, you may be—very understandably—wondering why you were charged with a state crime, a federal crime, or both kinds of crimes. It is important to connect with an San Francisco, CA federal criminal defense lawyer at the Morales Law Firm, regardless of the nature of your charges. Once we’ve objectively assessed your legal situation, we’ll be able to provide you with personalized guidance and begin building the strongest possible defense on your behalf. The approach we’ll take when building your defense will depend, in-part, upon whether the charges against you concern state crimes, federal crimes, or both kinds of offenses.
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer – San Francisco, CA
Once we meet with you and learn about your circumstances, we can explain why the specific charges against you are classified in one way or another. With that said, it can be helpful to understand the broad strokes of criminal jurisdiction so that you can better understand the situation that you’re facing.
State vs. Federal Charges
Governments—either state or federal—derive their authority to prosecute certain acts based on their jurisdiction. Essentially, there are certain acts that only the states can prosecute, certain acts that only the federal government can prosecute, and certain acts that may be affected by dual sovereignty.
Most of the time, the jurisdiction of a case will be rooted in where the crime took place. For example, crimes that occurred solely in California will likely be prosecuted by the state. Crimes that involve movement across boarders or violations of federal law will likely be prosecuted by U.S. attorneys. This is because the Constitution allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce, so crimes that involve more than one state naturally become part of the federal government’s jurisdiction. With the advent of the Internet and easy access to long distance calls, an increasing number of crimes are now prosecuted under federal jurisdiction because the Internet and cellphones have the power to connect people across state lines in an instant.
The doctrine of dual sovereignty allows some crimes to be prosecuted at both the state level and the federal level. This is not a violation of the Constitution’s protection against double jeopardy as long as neither a state nor federal prosecutors seek judgment within their own jurisdiction more than once.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have been charged with criminal wrongdoing or you anticipate that you may be charged in the future, it is important to schedule a risk-free consultation with the experienced California team at Morales Law Firm as soon as you possibly can. Once we’ve learned about your situation, we can begin protecting your rights and building the strongest possible defense on your behalf. Do not speak to anyone else until you’ve connected with a lawyer because anything you say could potentially damage the strength of your defense. Don’t wait. Call now.