The difference between federal law and state law
When you or someone you love faces criminal charges, it is wise to start your research to better understand the law and what to expect during the court process. The most fundamental place to start is to learn the difference between state and federal law. One area of the law involves misdemeanor convictions, while the other deals with serious crimes. Read on to learn what you need to know about state and federal laws, including what they are, when they were created, who created them, their constitutional power, and much more.
State law refers to the laws that each individual state in the United States of America uses to govern its citizens. They are sanctioned by the state legislature and are implemented with the governor’s signature. State laws are only applicable in your own state, however, many states share the same types of laws. These laws not only apply to both residents and visitors of the state, but also apply to business entities, corporations, and all other organizations that operate within state lines.
When a person breaks a law at the state level, they face a misdemeanor conviction. There are several levels of misdemeanors, all of which come with their own separate set of penalties and procedures.
Federal law was created by the United States Congress. Before a law can become federal, both houses of Congress must pass a bill and the President of the United States must sign it. These laws apply to everyone in the 50 states of the country, regardless of citizenship. The United States Constitution shapes the basis of federal law by establishing the power and responsibility of government, as well as protecting the rights of citizens.
When a person breaks a law at the federal level, they face conviction of a felony. There are several levels of serious crime, all of which come with their own separate repercussions. Common federal crimes include murder, sexual assault, fraud, robbery, and drug trafficking.
Most of the time, state laws parallel federal laws, but sometimes they conflict with each other. When it comes to dominance, federal law always prevails over state law because the Constitution of the United States gives the federal government superiority over the state government. So if there is ever a case where both levels of the law are in conflict, the federal decision will apply.
On the other hand, if state law gives more rights to a citizen, it is presumed to prevail over federal law. Although state laws may give its residents more rights than federal law, they are not intended to diminish or restrict the rights of a US citizen.