State & Federal Courts


In Minnesota, crimes can be punished at both the state and federal levels. The decision as to which cases are tried in federal court is up to the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota. Typically, the types of crimes that are tried in federal court include drug trafficking, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, and a number of white collar crimes. In some cases, both federal and state courts have “overlapping jurisdiction,” which means the same case can be tried at both levels, while others can be tried at one.

Regardless of which court is trying your case, it is important to work with a Minneapolis state & federal courts attorney who is knowledgeable of both and who is able to create a strong defense for you.

Minnesota State & Federal Court Differences

When it comes to federal court, your attorney must know the differences between it and state court. For example, the federal sentencing guidelines are complex and federal law changes quite frequently. Your attorney must stay current with the amendments that occur in order to know how to strategically plan your defense. Federal courts also have minimum sentences and these are sentences that are very harsh.

Even when guilty, it is important to have an advocate by your side that can help you obtain the best outcome. It doesn’t matter if you enter a plea or are found guilty by a jury, it is important to work toward the least harsh sentence.

If tried in state court, it is easy to see that the system is also a complicated one with penalties that can be quite harsh. The state courts tend to handle a hire case volume than at the federal level. Because of the large number of cases, you may experience more delays than you would in federal court. This is especially true if you are not in custody. Overall, the process is not as formal as it is in federal court, although your rights are to remain the same.

Grand Juries

In federal court, it is the grand jury that charges an individual with a crime. If you are accused by the federal government, you will be summoned to appear before the grand jury and you do have the right to have a Minnesota state & federal courts lawyer by your side through this process. Even if you are not subject to an investigation, you should have your attorney with you.

At the state level, you are actually charged by the prosecutor rather than a grand jury. Again, a strong advocate by your side is very important in ensuring the best possible outcome.

Contact A Minneapolis State & Federal Courts Lawyer

Criminal acts can be committed on both the federal and state levels and, in some cases, a single crime can be prosecuted at both levels and that is why it is a must to have an attorney who knows how each court works. Federal tends to be more aggressive than state with penalties that are much harsher. Knowing how to work with the federal prosecutors in the case can have a positive influence on the outcome. To learn more, call the Anderson Law Firm 24/7 at 612-332-3100 to schedule your free consultation.