Understanding the Basics of Federal Law and How Cases Are Handled in Federal Courts

Understanding the Basics of Federal Law and How Cases Are Handled in Federal Courts

The federal and state court systems are the two main branches of the judicial system. Each of these court systems is responsible for hearing a certain sort of case. While state courts are primarily responsible for interpreting state law, federal courts have the authority to consider a wide range of disputes.

Because many individuals are curious about how cases reach federal court, the following will provide an overview of how and when federal cases are heard. If you have questions or need a consultation from an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact Chambers Law Firm right away.

The Federal Court Levels

The federal system has changed since the founding of the United States. The federal court system began with Article III of the Constitution, which stated that the Supreme Court had the primary judicial power in the United States. The Constitution also empowered Congress to establish courts “below” the Supreme Court when needed.

As a result, the modern federal court system is divided into three levels:

  • District courts. Federal lawsuits are heard in these 94 courts. Judges in these courts are chosen for eight-year terms. These courts mostly deal with criminal proceedings, such as establishing bail and granting search warrants.
  • Courts of appeal. The United States has 12 circuit courts, which were established by Congress to relieve the Supreme Court of its backlog and to hear matters from the 94 district courts.
  • The Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court is the country’s highest court.
  • Courts of the executive branch. There are a number of federal courts that are not part of the judicial branch of government but are responsible with hearing a variety of special situations such as taxes, veterans claims, and armed forces concerns.

The Different Kinds of Case Heard in Federal Courts

Only a small percentage of cases are heard in federal courts. These are some of them:

  • Diversity. Cases between citizens of two separate states can be brought to federal court if the amount at stake exceeds $75,000.
  • Federal issues. Federal courts are responsible for addressing any lawsuit involving a federal law issue. These might include everything from copyright concerns to federal offenses.
  • Diplomats and treaties. Federal courts are responsible with determining situations that have an influence on the United States’ international standing.
  • Cases involving the federal government. If someone files a lawsuit against the federal government, it will be heard in federal court.

Types of Federal Criminal Cases Commonly Seen

The following are some of the most typical forms of federal criminal cases:

  • Offenses involving drugs. While many drug charges are handled at the state level, when a person is charged with drug offenses, certain instances become federal matters.
  • Charges for weapons. The possession of a firearm is involved in these offenses.
  • White-collar crime. A variety of non-violent actions are referred to as “white collar crime.” Embezzlement, fraud, and tax evasion are some of the most prevalent forms of crimes.

Consult a federal criminal law attorney with experience

It can be difficult to navigate a federal court process. As a result, enlisting the counsel of an attorney with extensive knowledge in this field might be beneficial. We strongly recommend you contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a free legal consultation.

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