Dual Sovereignty Helps Handle State And Federal Crimes
In the case where an action — the crime — violates both state and federal law, dual sovereignty comes into play. This means that, when a crime could potentially be tried in both state and federal court, a decision is made regarding which court will handle it — the sovereignty that decides to drop the case gives up the power to make a decision, allowing the other court to take care of the case. It is important, then, that an accused consults with a Central Florida Criminal Defense Attorney. At The Defense Group, we have experience with both courts, in order to better handle a case — no matter which court it is taken to.
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“It’s possible to have one action violate both a state crime and a federal crime. It’s called the dual sovereignty. The United States is a sovereign entity. The State of Florida is a sovereign entity. Ordinarily, either one or the other will prosecute it and usually it works like this. If the Feds take it, the State leaves it alone. If the Feds abandon it to the State, the State makes its own decision whether to prosecute or not, but a federal crime is literally just that. It’s one which is against the law throughout the United States, may or may not be against the law in Florida.”
Although it is extremely rare, it is possible to face trial in both federal and state courts for a single prosecution. In one case, lawyers at The Defense Group took a drug trafficking case to trial in state court and won. The prosecutor was so upset about losing that he convinced the local US Attorney to charge our client with the federal offense. Although we had prevailed in the Florida courts, our client decided to use other counsel for the federal trial. She lost and went to prison.
Regardless of the jurisdiction, if accused, arrested or even investigated for a felony drug offense, you should reach out immediately for a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced criminal defense attorney with The Defense Group. Call us at 407-831-1956 or 352-742-9090.