What are the advantages and disadvantages proceeding in federal criminal as opposed to a state prosecution?
What are the advantages and disadvantages proceeding in federal criminal as opposed to a state prosecution, provided there is concurrent jurisdiction?
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One advantage of proceeding in federal criminal court would be that a defendant might expect a trial less influenced by local politics and prejudices. Federal judges are appointed for life by the President of the United States, and thus in theory are free from influence or pressure from state and local political pressure, either from voters or politicians.
One potential disadvantage to the federal system, for a defendant, is that sentencing guidelines are stiffer and less flexible at the federal level. In other words the judge has less personal leeway in how long the sentence will be, and federal sentences, in general, are not subject to "time off for good behavior" and other such sentence-shortening programs.
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