If you have are facing criminal charges in North Carolina, you need to know if your case will be heard in a state court or a federal court. While most cases are dealt with locally, there are exceptions.

These are some of the reasons your case could be heard in a federal court:

  • You are accused of having broken federal law: Certain crimes fall under federal law. These can include internet pornography, trafficking across state boundaries, intellectual property disputes, terrorism offenses and many white collar crimes.
  • Your case crosses state boundaries: If you are involved in a dispute with a resident of another state, a federal court can act as neutral territory. Provided there is at least $75,000 at stake.
  • Your case could have international repercussions: If there are diplomats, ambassadors or public ministers involved. There are special rules between countries that could affect these kinds of situations. For example, the famous diplomatic immunity.
  • You are suing a federal government body: If you are bringing a claim against a state authority, a state court will hear your case.
  • Your case relates to water: Any navigable waters fall under the jurisdiction of the Admiralty.

When facing charges of federal crimes, it is essential to get the support of a Charlotte defense lawyer who has experience in federal courtrooms, as they are very different from your local court. Federal charges often carry more severe consequences than state charges, so it is vital to do all you can to improve your chances.