When a North Carolina resident is arrested for a crime, the matter could be tried in federal or state court depending on the circumstances surrounding the allegations. Although most criminal matters will be tried in state court, some will be subject to federal jurisdiction.
Here are five situations in which that could be the case:
The case centers around a federal law: Federal courts will have jurisdiction when a case focuses on a matter of federal law. The issue might relate to a question of military law, constitutional law, a federal crime, securities laws, congressional laws and constitutional law.
There’s a question about which state may have jurisdiction: When two people have a dispute — and the matter relates to at least $75,000 — it could be tried in federal court.
Issues relating to international treaties or diplomats: Legal matters that focus on international law or matters involving diplomats will be decided in U.S. federal court.
Lawsuits against federal agencies: When a public citizen feels as though he or she has been wronged by a federal agency, the harmed individual will need to pursue the matter in federal court.
Legal matters relating to seas, navigable bodies of water and the ocean: The U.S. federal government maintains jurisdiction over navigable bodies of water and the disputes that happen there.
Admiralty: Cases that involve navigable water bodies in and around the U.S., including the oceans, rivers and great lakes.
If you’re concerned that your criminal matter will be tried in federal court, it’s important that you work with a skilled criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the nuances of Federal defense law.