When you are facing criminal charges or under investigation or being questioned concerning criminal charges, it is absolutely critical that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Without experienced guidance, you may risk losing rights and defenses. Even before your arrest, law enforcement officials will be building a case against you. From statements you make, to where you spend your time, to your social connections, your motivations and actions will be under scrutiny. Let R. Deno Cole guide you in advance on how to protect yourself, mitigate or prevent charges, and reduce any penalties associated with an offense.
One of the first questions we will ask our clients who are facing criminal charges will be whether the charge is being brought by Federal or State court. The differences between federal and state crimes can be complicated. Many different laws overlap in the criminal arena, and doubts and questions are created as to what criminal court should prosecute the crime. If the crime happens in one state, it is typically a state crime, unless it is an expressly named as a federal crime. But if a crime occurs throughout multiple states, or crosses state lines, or occurs on or to federal property it often becomes a federal crime. State crimes are typically all conduct that violates state laws, such as murder, traffic violations, DUI and other areas where conduct is completely encompassed within the state of Tennessee. Federal crimes are specifically enumerated federal offenses, such as IRS violations, allegations of drug trafficking and possession, mail fraud, kidnapping, counterfeiting, damaging or destroying mailboxes, and immigration offenses.
When a crime committed seems that it could be charged as either state crime or a federal crime, the US Constitution’s “Supremacy Clause” states that federal law will trump state law and the federal authorities will take the case over. This happens more often than not especially if the suspect(s) are of great interest and focus to federal law enforcement.
It is imperative when choosing an attorney to represent you in a criminal matter, that you choose a professional that has experience in all areas of criminal representations. A professional that understands the fundamental aspects of both State and Federal laws and one that has experience in both State and Federal courts.
Important differences between State and Federal Courts:
Crimes that are punishable under State law can include the following:
- Vehicular Homicide
- Murder & Homicide
- Domestic Violence
- Sex Crimes & Prostitution
- White Collar Crime
- Campus Crime
- Criminal Appeals & Post Conviction
- Expungement of Criminal Record
- Drug Charges
- Computer Crimes
Crimes that are punishable under federal law can include the following:
- Drug trafficking
- Violations of securities laws
- Violations of interstate commerce