Federal Criminal Vs State Criminal

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defines. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” – James Madison


What is a federal crime? A federal crime is any law broken under federal jurisdiction. Federal laws are laws agreed on by the both houses of congress and the acting president when they’re passed. Federal crimes include the following: Various forms of fraud, Computer crimes, federal drug charges, and federal sex crimes.

Fraud as defined by Merriam Webster is “intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right” The types of fraud covered by federal law are the following: Credit card, Insurance, Tax, and bankruptcy fraud.

Computers are prevalent in our society. They’ve become a modern limb. Hackers are the bane of our existence, and hacking is covered under computer crimes in federal laws. Social media platforms have provided stalkers with tracking devices for their prey, and especially in instances when more than one state is involved, federal laws apply. Instances of money laundering across states or out of country are included in the federal laws as well.

If you’ve ever seen the television series “Weeds”, then you may be familiar with the episode where Nancy discovers a tunnel leading from a maternity store in the United States to Mexico. This tunnel was used to smuggle drugs, and this certainly broke federal laws. If you had an applicant that attempted to be like Nancy and was caught, they’d most likely have a federal record if they were convicted.

Sexual crimes are hard to digest, especially when they’re severe. Severe cases that involve human trafficking, the exploitation of children, and child pornography across several states and/or countries are on the federal level. A person can also end up facing federal court if they’re a registered sex offender and knowingly fail to register or update the registry.

What’s considered a state crime? Each state has a different set of laws passed by their legislators. If a person has committed a crime in a single state, then the state in which the crime was committed would handle the processing. These crimes could include theft, DUI’S, murder, burglary, drug crimes, arson, and sex crimes. If an applicant had a regretful night of debauchery which lead them to take drugs, crash their car, set items from an ex on fire in public, then streak through town, and they were convicted for all offenses, this would be included in the statewide criminal as long as it was limited to one state.

Fun Fact: If a person has committed a crime that falls under both local state laws and federal laws, they can and usually are charged by both local authorities as well as federal authorities. Double Jeopardy doesn’t protect them.

If an applicant will be handling finances, a federal search in addition to a statewide or county criminal search will provide an added layer of sleuthing for the protection of your business.

The information provided on this website is not to be considered legal advice. All information on this blog is for general information purposes only.


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