Many California individuals involved with the criminal justice system find out quickly that outcomes can differ starkly based on whether they are facing a state or federal offense.
We succinctly note on our defense website at the Bay Area Law Offices of John W. Noonan that “there is a world of difference between federal and state criminal charges.” The latter challenge is unquestionably daunting in every instance, but is often far surpassed by the harsh consequences attached to a federal conviction.
Proven defense lawyers who routinely represent clients in both state and federal courts know that intimately well. So too, though, do district attorneys and prosecutors focused on securing the most stringent sentencing outcomes possible. That goal is often secured by steering a criminal matter away from state court and into a federal venue.
That strategy is spotlighted in a recent Sacramento Bee article underscoring attempts made by authorities over the past year to purposefully guide select defendants toward federal judges and juries. Some prosecutors are reportedly voicing discontent with state sentencing laws they regard as being soft on crime. They are working in concert with other attorneys across Northern California to drive violent offenders into federal courts.
That federal outcomes are comparatively harsh as a general rule seems certain and well-confirmed. The Bee piece stresses that federal defendants “frequently face tougher penalties and serve more of their sentences” than do prisoners in state facilities.
Criminal charges are obviously a key consideration for any individual accused of crime. A seasoned defense attorney with proven experience in both state and federal courts can diligently promote the rights and interests of a criminal suspect.