The Difference Between Federal Law and State Law

When you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, it is wise to start doing your research in order to better understand the law and what you might expect during the judicial process. The most fundamental place to start is to learn the difference between state and federal law. One area of law involves misdemeanor convictions, while the other deals with felonies.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about state and federal law, including what they are, when they were created, who created them, their constitutional power, and much more.

State and Federal Criminal Record
State and Federal Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

State Law

State law refers to the laws that each individual state in the United States of America use to govern their citizens. They are sanctioned by the state legislature, and implemented upon the governor’s signature. State laws are only applicable in their own state, however, many states share the same types of laws. Not only do these laws pertain to both residents and visitors to the state, they also apply to business entities, corporations, and all other organizations that operate within the state borders.

When a person breaks a law on a state level, they face being convicted of a misdemeanor. There are multiple levels of misdemeanors, all of which come with their own separate set of penalties and repercussions.

Federal Law

Federal law was created by the United States Congress. Before a law can become a federal one, a bill must be passed by both houses of Congress, and signed off by the President of the United States. These laws pertain to everyone in all 50 states in the country, regardless of citizenship. The U.S. Constitution shapes the foundation for federal law by establishing government power and responsibility, as well as protecting citizen rights.

When a person breaks a law on a federal level, they face being convicted of a felony offense. There are multiple levels of felonies, all of which come with their own separate set of penalties and repercussions. Common federal offenses include murder, sexual assault, fraud, theft, and drug trafficking.

Want to Remove Misdemeanors and Felonies From Your Criminal Record? Look to Expungement.

State and Federal Criminal Record Expungement

In order for a federal charge to be expunged from a person’s criminal record, the conviction must have been dismissed by the court. Once a federal record is expunged, all official records and references of a conviction is erased, with the exception of the Department of Justice.

To expunge an arrest, charge, or conviction on a state level, a pre-determined amount of time must pass by since the date of the charge. Additionally, a state criminal record can only be expunged if the charges were later dropped because a judge determined no crime was committed, were later dropped because there was no probable cause, or the arrest never lead to criminal charges.

Learn More About Qualifying for Indiana Record Expungement

Call our Indianapolis criminal defense law firm at 317-636-7514 if you would like to petition for restricted access or expunge an arrest from your criminal record in Indiana. We are happy to provide free initial consultations to discuss your case without any out-of-pocket obligations. And our rates start as low as $850! Whether you are looking to seal or expunge a criminal record, we are the criminal lawyers to trust for a hassle-free petitioning process. Take advantage of this opportunity and get your criminal record expunged this year!