Many different types of criminal cases get investigated by federal authorities, prosecuted by the United States Attorneys and tried before the federal courts in Texas.
For instance, the federal government handles serious drug and firearms charges, as well as a lot of different types of white collar offenses.
The federal courts also handle criminal violations of immigration laws, including the sneaking of undocumented workers across the border.
Anyone can be charged with a federal crime
But even an average resident of San Antonio can wind up facing a criminal charge unexpectedly, even for what seems like a minor offense.
Texas is well-known for having a lot of military bases, and the federal government also holds other property. While on federal land, even a relatively simple charge like drunk driving or petty theft can turn into a federal crime.
This is largely because of a United States law which allows the federal government to prosecute what would otherwise be violations of Texas law but for the fact they happened on federal property.
Federal court is a different game
The federal court system operates independently of the Texas state courts. In addition to having different judges and prosecutors, the federal courts have different procedural rules that all parties must follow.
Likewise, federal judges follow a different set of sentencing guidelines and practices. In some cases, an offense that might amount to no big deal in a local San Antonio court could spell jail time or other serious consequences in federal court.
Making a mistake with respect to these or other practices unique to the federal court system can seriously impact a person’s case. This is why experience is critical when a person is evaluating his or her legal options.