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Difference Between State and Federal White Collar Charges

Although white collar crimes are generally federal in nature, in certain cases they may instead be considered state crimes. Below, a Virginia federal white collar criminal attorney discusses the difference between state and federal white collar cases and what determines whether your case is federal or state in nature. To learn more or begin building a defense for your charge call and schedule a consultation today.

To learn more or begin building a defense for your charge call and schedule a consultation today.

What Determines Whether a Case is Heard in State or Federal Court?

In Virginia, the majority of the time white collar charges are prosecuted in federal court, but there are some exceptions to that. Overall, Virginia has a pretty strong monitoring system for its own internal healthcare payouts and as a result, there are agencies and prosecutors that will vigorously go after those kinds of things in Virginia as long as all of the acts that are involved in the case occurred within the borders of the state.

However, even those these acts may take place in Virginia, these kinds of cases are prosecuted in federal court because the nature of the offense is such that even there are almost always interstate implications, which means that the Feds can open up their own investigation.

Therefore, if it is a federal case it is going to be heard in the federal court and if it is a state case it will be heard in whatever county it is that you are charged in.

State Vs Federal Courts

State courts in Virginia and the federal courts in Virginia have very different rules of criminal procedure. So the attorney who gets involved in these cases has to be intimately familiar with not only the prevailing overall rules for all federal courts or all state courts but also the specifics of the local jurisdiction in which the case is ultimately going to be prosecuted.

The procedures in federal court are very different than they are in the state court and so you have to know both systems if you are going to be handling white collar crime in Virginia.

Where Are Federal White Collar Criminal Cases Heard in Virginia?

Virginia has about ten or so federal court houses that are split into two districts. There is the eastern District of Virginia and the western District of Virginia. The eastern District of Virginia is going to be places like Alexandria which is where we see a lot of our clients being prosecuted, in addition to Richmond, Norfolk, Newport News, that is all the eastern district of Virginia. In the western district of Virginia, there is going to be jurisdictions like Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, and Roanoke.

It is very possible that a person who is charged in federal court might not live very close to the courthouse because there is only about ten of them throughout the entire state and Virginia is a big state.

Where Are Non-Federal White Collar Cases Heard in Virginia?

Well if you are charged in the state of Virginia, you are going to be charged in an individual county and every individual county has its own courthouse. So you will be tried in the courthouse of the county in which you were charged.