In this section, our attorneys explain Nevada’s criminal laws and legal concepts, A to Z
Laws » What is the Difference Between a Nevada State and Federal Crime?
What is the difference between a state and federal crime? The U.S. Constitution allows states the power to govern themselves. However, if there is a matter that concerns national welfare, then federal law prevails.
State v. Federal Crime
The state of Nevada will have jurisdiction over defendants who violate Nevada state laws. Federal laws come into play when a crime has been committed that is in direct violation of federal statutes. Sometimes, a crime is illegal according to both state and federal law, which is called concurrent jurisdiction. If there is a conflict between the two, federal law will prevail under the Supremacy Clause in the US Constitution.
The federal government has jurisdiction over defendants that commit crimes on federal property or crimes that cross state lines. Also certain crimes are exclusively within federal jurisdiction such as federal taxes, the Post Office, the military, immigration and customs. (Read our article about how a Washoe County robbery can be a federal offense.)
The federal government has jurisdiction over matters concerning interstate commerce. This involves doing business across state lines, and encompasses trucking, mail, phone use and television.
When prosecuting a case, state and federal prosecutions are largely the same. However the sheer quantity of paperwork and time involved in litigating a case will be different. Federal cases are characteristically slower, and the scope of the investigation will be much greater. This is because with federal law, the prosecutors are looking at a more all-encompassing view of the crime, while a state court is usually dealing with local and state police.
Calculating penalties in state and federal court are done differently. With federal matters, “The Federal Sentencing Guidelines” are used to arrive at a sentence. State crimes are calculated according to state legislation and guidelines.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
If you are a legal alien in Nevada, you cannot be deported unless you plead guilty to, or are convicted of certain types of crimes. These crimes include aggravated felonies, drug crimes, firearm crimes, domestic violence crimes, or crimes moral turpitude. Aggravated Felonies There are several different kinds of Nevada crimes that qualify as aggravated felonies. Theft ...
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Yes, NRS 200.200 allows you to kill someone in self-defense in Nevada if the following two conditions are true: 1. The danger was so urgent and pressing that, in order to save the person’s own life, or to prevent the person from receiving great bodily harm, the killing of the other was absolutely necessary; and ...
If you believe you did not commit a traffic violation for which you have been ticketed, you may be wondering if you should even bother challenging it in court. Is it even possible to beat a traffic ticket in Los Angeles court? The answer is, yes, it is possible. But should you? Understand that by ...