Any criminal charge in any court in the Hawaiian Islands is a serious legal matter.
However, there are many things about federal criminal charges which make them particularly intimidating. Here are a few examples of what makes federal criminal court challenging:
- The federal courts’ processes and procedures are different from those of the state courts. These differences are important in many respects. Someone who is not familiar with them could unintentionally forfeit some of their legal rights or options.
- Sentencing in federal court is different than in state court and often much harsher. Behavior that might lead to probation in state court could spell years in prison if it is a federal case.
- Prosecutors and federal law enforcement agencies are known for being knowledgeable, well-funded and well-trained. They are not afraid to use their knowledge and skill to secure convictions and lengthy sentences, even when a person might not deserve them.
- The federal court’s main office is located in Honolulu. State courts are located around the islands.
Federal criminal charges often involve difficult subject matter
In addition to the differences between federal court and state court, federal charges often involve very serious allegations.
For example, federal courts handle many different types of drug charges, including those that allege conspiracy or other involvement in illegally selling narcotics.
Federal prosecutors also frequently press charges in complicated fraud cases or other white-collar crimes. Firearms offenses as well as child pornography and other internet sex crimes also get prosecuted in federal court frequently.
Residents as well as visitors who are brought before a federal court to answer for federal crimes will want to be sure that they understand all their legal options and are well-prepared to defend their rights.