State Crimes from Federal Crimes

Scales of justice, law books and gavel over dark backgroundThe U.S. Constitution allows individual states to govern themselves when the defendant has violated state laws, and this includes Nevada. If the crime concerns national welfare, then it falls under federal law.

Federal laws typically are involved when the crime violates federal statutes or interstate commerce.. such as International drug trafficking NRS. The crime may be under concurrent jurisdiction, which is when the offense violates both state and federal law. If there is an outstanding conflict in the two, federal law will prevail because of the Supremacy Clause in the US Constitution.

Interstate commerce includes businesses that extend across state lines including mail, trucking, phone use and television and when the defendant goes across state lines, the offense always turns from state to federal.These areas are under federal law, but the U.S. government also has jurisdiction on crimes that were committed on federal property including the shootings on Post Office, military, customs and immigration sites.


Serious punishments result from both state or federal violations, but they are calculated differently. The federal court uses Federal Sentencing Guidelines while the state uses their state statutes and legislation.

Potter Law Firm

State and federal statutes are confusing for the average person, but attorney Cal Potter has been practicing law for 30 years in Nevada and is an expert in state and federal laws, and how they apply to you. Contact the to understand your case and learn your rights.