Comparison of Federal and State Criminal Systems
Most criminal prosecutions take place in state courts. The chart below highlights some of the key differences between state and federal criminal systems.
· Jurisdiction （”power” to decide cases，管辖权）. A state has power over defendants who violate the laws of that state. The federal government has power over defendants who commit criminal acts on federal property （for example, an assault in a post office） or whose criminal acts cross state lines （for example, a kidnapper transports a victim from Iowa to Missouri）. A state and the federal government can have “concurrent” power over a defendant when the same criminal activity violates both state and federal laws. In those situations, state and federal prosecutors make case-by-case decisions as to whether a defendant will be prosecuted in state or federal court.
· Police Officers（警官）. Typical state police officers are county sheriffs and city police officers. Typical federal police officers are agents of the FBI and DEA （Drug Enforcement Administration）.
· Prosecutors（检察官）. Federal criminal prosecutions are handled by US Attorneys, who are appointed by and are ultimately responsible to the US Attorney General. State prosecutors, many of whom are elected on a countywide basis, carry a variety of titles; common ones are district attorney, state’s attorney and city attorney.
· Defense Attorneys（辩护律师）. Most criminal defendants qualify for government-paid defense attorneys. Government-paid attorneys are usually employed either by an office of the Federal Public Defender or a county’s Public Defender office. （For information about the differences between government-paid and privately retained defense attorneys, see Chapter 7.）
· Trial Courts（审判法院）. Most federal criminal prosecutions occur in United States District Courts. State courts carry such titles as ”superior court（最高法院）,” “municipal court（市法院）,” “police court（治安法院）” or ”county court（县法院）,” depending on the state and the seriousness of criminal charges.
· Judges（法官）. Federal trial judges are known as District Court Judges（联邦地区法院法官）; they are appointed for life by the President subject to confirmation（确认、批准） by the US Senate. State court judges are typically initially appointed by governors（州长，现在我们各省的省长也用这个词了） and then are subject to election every few years. State court trial judges carry such titles as Superior Court Judge, Municipal Court Judge and （in New York） Supreme Court Judge. In both State and Federal courts, “magistrates” may preside over pretrial hearings such as bail hearings, as well as less serious criminal trials.
· All-Purpose vs. Specialized Judges（全能法官与专门法官）. Federal courts use the “all-purpose judge” system. This means that the same judge almost always presides over a case from beginning to end—that is, from a defendant’s first court appearance to final acquittal or sentencing. Some states also follow the all-purpose judge model. In many states, however, judges are specialized. For example, one judge may determine bail （see Chapter 5）, another judge may hear pretrial motions （see Chapter 19） and a third judge may preside over a trial （see Chapter 21）.
1、property [英汉法学大词典] n.财产 ,财产权,物业,无形资产，我们常说的物业管理可是翻译成property management哦。
2、kidnapper [英汉法学大词典] n.绑匪 ,绑架者,诱拐者,注意kidnap英文的意思是To seize and detain unlawfully and usually for ransom，或者这样解释The taking away of an individual against his will. The term is usually applied to instances in which ransom is demanded for the return of the kidnapped person.这里并不需要绑匪有要赎金的意思。
3、FBI and DEA 美国联邦调查局和麻醉品管制局，关于DEA有各种译法，关键是对其职能的理解出现了偏差，WIKIPEDIA的解释为The Drug Enforcement Administration （DEA） is a United States Department of Justice law enforcement agency tasked with suppressing the sale of recreational drugs by enforcing the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. It shares concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in narcotics enforcement matters.
4、pretrial hearings [英汉法学大词典] 审前听证会
5、US Attorneys可不是翻译成美国律师，而是US Attorney General美国总检察官任免的联邦检察官，同样district attorney, state’s attorney and city attorney中的attorney也是检察官的意思