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    Speak Up! - View Question #19152

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    Question: Is there a difference between state and federal crimes? Are federal ones more serious?


    Not necessarily more serious - but most federal crimes are felonies and are punishable by over one year's imprisonment.

    Common federal crimes are:

    • Transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines.
    • Making a false statement to the government with intent to defraud.
    • Mailing matter that is obscene.
    • Transporting or importing drugs.
    • Forgery of government checks.
    • Possession of stolen mail and of items - such as credit cards which have been stolen from the mail.
    • Robbery or burglary of a bank or savings and loan institution.

    In addition, the federal courts will punish violations of all state laws when committed on federal government property, such as a national park or a federal office building.

    I thought a record could be sealed...

    Yes a record can be sealed, either by law or by motion (Arizona Supreme Court Rule 123). But records, including juvenile records, are not automatically sealed.

    Remember: a person convicted of a crime, either as a juvenile or an adult, has a criminal record for the rest of his or her life. Under some circumstances the juvenile adjudication may be set aside (ARS §8-348) or the juvenile court and department of juvenile corrections records may be destroyed (ARS §8-349). However, a record will still exist in the criminal justice system.

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