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Differences Between Maryland State and Federal Courts

While there are some similarities between state and federal courts in Maryland, such as the need for people to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted, generally speaking federal court is much different. In federal court, for example, more time is committed to each trial, and the process is undertaken more formally than it is in State Court proceeding. In addition, at the federal level only one trial is heard at a time, as opposed to the docket system set out in a Maryland State Court.  As a result of these differences, it is important that those facing a federal drug charges consult with a Maryland federal drug attorney who has practiced in federal court before and knows the proper procedure. This offenses are increasingly serious making experience even more important than it might be in other types of cases. To learn more about the benefits of an experienced attorney or to begin building a defense, call and schedule a consultation today.

Unique Aspects of Federal Court

The first way federal court differs from State courts is through the overall process of the case. In federal court, the process is much more formal than the Maryland State Court.  For example in federal court, appointments are set with judges when nothing else is taking place in the courtroom except the case scheduled to be heard by the judge. Additionally, there are fewer cases, fewer judges, and fewer prosecutors, which means the court commits far more time to each matter.

In State Court, very serious charges such as murder may still be charged, however the state court system handles more cases and is therefore a little more overwhelmed. They handle them in a docket setting where there are multiple cases set for hearing in the same courtroom at the same time.

Federal and State Judges

Another way federal court is different from Maryland State Courts is regarding the judges. Federal judges are more procedure-oriented than state judges. Federal judges hear fewer trials than state judges. When federal judges have a case going into trial posture or going into a lengthier process than they are used to, they require almost every single motion and every request an attorney is going to make to be in writing as opposed to something that an attorney can argue at the spur of the moment.

With state courts, an attorney must still submit many of their motions and requests to the court in writing.

Differences Between Federal and State Juries

The juries in federal court are tasked with finding people guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the same way as they are in state court. Depending on the kind of case and jurisdiction, the number of jurors varies. Sometimes there are six jurors, sometimes there are 12. In a criminal case, the jurors are still tasked with the same mission, which is to find whether the government has proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Federal and state courts do not take their jury members from different jury pools. People who are called for federal jury duty receive notification in the same way that people do when called for state jury. The way someone is picked for a federal jury is the same. Someone gets a notice in the mail that says they are required to appear for jury duty. If the person cannot appear for jury duty, they must have a good reason why they cannot appear and demonstrate that for the court so the person can be rescheduled for a different day.