The United States is known for having the most renowned for ha¬ving one of the most complicated and high-level judicial systems. Every day thousands of people, including law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, government officials and ¬even accused criminals, take part in this system, hoping to settle disputes and work for justice (Silverman, 2007). One of the keys to a balanced justice system is to separate the matters of the courts; federal courts pertain to issues with the federal law where each state has its own set of laws and can adapt to needs of the people.
Criminal vs .Civil
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Criminal law deals with behavior that is or can be understood as an offense against the public, society, or the state while civil law deals with behaviors that constitute to an individual or private party/ corporation (Duignan, 2015). Criminal law and civil law differ of how cases are originated. For example, in criminal cases, the government (federal or state) may bring the case forward in opening. A jury always decides the verdict of the case, whether that is guilty, or not guilty. Normally, punishment may include paying a fine to the government or serving jail/prison time. In civil cases, by contrast, cases are filed by a private party and usually decided by the judge of a reasonable outcome. Punishment almost always consists of a monetary award and never consists of imprisonment (Duignan, 2015).
Federal Structure vs. State Structure
Federal court refers to a court that the federal government runs. According to the US Constitution, the federal government has the power to handle legal disputes that involve the Constitution or Congressional laws (United States Courts, 2016). All other disputes are state issues. For example, a federal court has control over cases that involve a multi-state crime such as drug trafficking, human trafficking etc while state courts often hear cases like family disputes and traffic violations (MacDonald, 2018). Other differences besides jurisdiction, or control of structure are the procedure, mandatory minimums, and discovery of the cases. As far as procedure goes, they both are similar in procedure. According to MacDonald, it doesn’t matter which state is the venue for your federal case; in any federal case, the procedure is the same (MacDonald, 2018). For mandatory minimums, the judge in a state court has to carefully follow sentencing requirements; there is little flexibility and thus if a crime has a mandatory minimum, some people go to jail when they don’t deserve to serve time. The judges in federal courts have a little more flexibility and don’t necessarily have to follow guidelines closely. Finally there is discovery of the case—investigation time. In a state case, there isn’t much of an investigation for the simple fact of state budgets as to compared to a federal case. A federal case is a drawn-out affair; they involve different law enforcement agencies, and an in-depth investigation (MacDonald, 2018). Since there aren’t many cases heard in federal courts, there is much more time to do these in depth investigations.
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