In the United States we operate under a federalist system of government, meaning we have a strong central government along with numerous smaller governments in the form of state governments. As a result, an individual can be charged with a criminal offense at the state level, the federal level, or both. Because the U.S. Constitution is the ultimate authority for both the state and federal criminal justice systems there are significant similarities between the two systems; however, there are some differences as well.
One aspect of the federal system, for example, that is not found in all state systems is the use of sentencing guidelines. The Guidelines are complex, as is the manner in which they are implemented, which is why you should always consult with an experienced Nebraska federal criminal defense attorney regarding your specific situation; however, if you have been charged with a criminal offense in federal court, it is in your best interest to have at least a basic understanding of how the Federal Sentencing Guidelines work.