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Ask Colleen Grady Your Own Question
Colleen Grady
Colleen Grady, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 523
Experience:  Attorney and Counselor at Law
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What is the difference between a US district court and a

Customer Question

What is the difference between a US district court and a state court for criminal cases?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

The US district court takes care of criminal cases that charge a defendant with violations of federal criminal law statutes.

State courts take care of criminal cases that charge a defendant with violations of the criminal law of particular states.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I will be happy to clarify this. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate me.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

Another note, federal crimes are found in the U.S. Code: Title 18

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is accessory to sexual assault and victim intimidation a federal law or state law?What if the victim is in one state and the suspect is in another? Would it be a federal case or state?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

It can be both. To be charged under Federal law, the crime would have to take place in "special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal prison, or in any prison, institution, or facility in which persons are held in custody by direction of or pursuant to a contract or agreement with the head of any Federal department or agency" 18 U.S. Code § 2242 - Sexual abuse.

It can also be charged if parts of the crime happened across state lines. That is, part of the crime happened in one state and then the person committing the offense engaged in interstate travel and committed another part of the crime in another state.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

Sexual offense are usually handled by the state court in which the crime took place.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

Do you mean the victim and offender are in different states at the time of the offense or after the offense took place?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
At the time of the offense and afterwards.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
If it is federal, then who will prosecute?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

If mail or the internet was used to commit the accessory crimes, it is a federal and state violation. It would be easier to prosecute the actor in Federal court because it would be easier to get that person into court.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
If it is federal, who will be the one prosecuting?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

It would be a US Attorney's Office where the US court is location. The police agency may be the FBI.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Could it also be local police that would be investigating? At least initially?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

Yes, they could be. Sometimes there are joint task forces of federal and state police working an investigation together. I have worked with such task forces.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Interesting. So if the internet was used, than it would be federal jurisdiction? If there was a search and seizure warrant, would it be requested from a federal distric court?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

It depends. If the local and federal authorities are working together, a warrant can be obtained in a state court. If there is a federal investigation of a crime involving the US mail or the internet, a search warrant would be obtained in the US court.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is this what is called a US district court?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

yes

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 7 months ago.

If you are satisfied with my help, please rate me.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can someone get prosecuted for the same crime at the state and federal level?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 6 months ago.

No.

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