The job of a Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney can be complex. For example, not every person charged with a crime in Utah faces penalties under state law. In some cases, they could be facing federal criminal charges. In other cases, these laws can often overlap. It can make a huge huge difference when seeking legal representation. Before you select a criminal defense lawyer in Salt Lake City, it is important to know the basic differences between state and federal laws.
The majority of cases involving criminal law in Salt Lake City are subjected to state laws. These are cases where the crime occurred only in Utah. However, certain crimes may face federal charges. For example, many drug crimes involve situations where the accused is charged with distributing illegal drugs over state lines or on federal property. The most common federal crimes include:
- Drug Possession & Trafficking
- Illegal Immigration
- Tax Crimes
- Mail Fraud
But not all cases are the same. Some, including Salt Lake City gun charges, involve violations of both state and federal laws. When these charges overlap, the case may qualify for the “Supremacy Clause”. Under the United States Constitution, the Supremacy Clause would allow federal laws to trump state laws. It usually happens when a person charged with a crime has drawn attention from federal law enforcement.
It is not unusual for federal courts to hear cases involving Utah law. This occurs when a state law is found to have violated the U.S. Constitution. Many crimes are illegal under federal and state laws. For example, employee discrimination is violation of federal law. However, many states have added their own employee discrimination laws.
The Differences of Sentencing in State & Federal Courts
In Utah courts, sentencing and penalties are determined by state laws. However, not all states utilize the same sentencing procedure. Many follow a set of guidelines while others have judges that determine the minimum and maximum sentencing penalties. Judges in federal courts utilize “The Federal Sentencing Guidelines” to determine punishment for serious crimes.
Selecting the Right Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney
When it comes time to select a legal professional, it important to choose criminal defense attorney with significant experience in both federal and state cases. Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney David Paul White brings a track record of more than 25 years of protecting the rights of each client and looking after their best interests. Federal crimes often involve serious penalties, including long prison sentences. Choosing the right defense attorney can often make the difference between regaining and losing your freedom. Do not take chances with your legal representation. If you have been charged with a federal crime, contact the law offices of David Paul White and schedule a consultation today.