Laws are created at both the federal and state levels. States have the authority and responsibility to enact and enforce laws that apply to their state. Article 1 of the Constitution of the United States gives the Unites States Congress – comprised of the Senate and the House of Representatives – the soul authority to enact federal laws. Laws that are passed in Congress apply at the Federal level, which mean that when a federal law is violated it becomes a federal crime. Sometimes state and federal laws overlap. When they do, the state and federal government decide who will take responsibility. Quite commonly, a crime can be charged in either the state or federal court system. The consequences for federal crimes are usually much more severe.
Federal Laws and Crimes
There are thousands of federal statutes or laws that fall into various categories. In general, federal crimes apply to areas of national interest and affect more than one state. There are many federal agencies that enforce federal crimes. The FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation – is the primary federal law enforcement agency; in recent years since 9/11 many other agencies have been created.
Who Prosecutes Federal Crimes
Federal crime prosecution falls under the umbrella of the United States Attorney, as opposed to state crimes, which are prosecuted by a district or state attorney.
Federal crimes occur when a person, group or corporation violates federal statutes. Sometimes state and federal laws overlap and both are violated. An agreement is reached as to who will prosecute the crime. Federal crimes tend to violate laws in more than one state.