The federal criminal justice system has some points in common with the district courts that hear state level cases. There are also some very noticeable and some not so noticeable differences. Learning about these points is crucial if you are facing federal criminal charges.

One of the points that is the same in all criminal courts is that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. This means that the prosecution has to prove its case. Your job is to poke holes in the claims that the prosecution makes. This means that you can pick points that you can dispute and bring those up. You want to introduce doubt into the mind of each juror that sits on your case.

The prosecutor is one of the biggest differences in these cases. In a federal case, you are facing U.S. attorney. In a state level case, you are facing the local prosecutors. The U.S. attorney will usually have more resources to pull from than what a local prosecutor will have. This can make a difference in the case against you.

In both types of cases, you will go through a pretrial phase. In this phase, you might be able to come to a plea deal with the prosecution. This might help you come to a resolution of your case that you can live with.

If you don’t resolve your case prior to going to trial, you will have to stand trial before a jury of your peers. If the jurors find you guilty, you will move forward to sentencing. If the jurors find you not guilty, you will be free to move on with your life.

Source: United States Courts, “Criminal Cases,” accessed June 09, 2017