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Differences Between Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies

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Some may question “what is the difference between Federal and State Law?” The two typically go hand in hand as the primary purposes of them both are to regulate citizens. Federal law applies to all US States, whereas state laws can differ as they only apply to the state the individual is in at the time. I feel that is one of the most important differences. Depending on the type of crime committed will determine what level of court you will be tired in. Laws that are in place in individual states will not apply to other states, so Federal laws will apply when state laws conflict with each other. For example, every state has its set gun laws. It will become a federal issue if you legally buy a gun in one state, and choose to illegally sell it in another state. In the two, there are different career opportunities available. To sum it up, Federal laws apply to everyone; while state laws apply in the state the crime is committed.

Choosing a career path within criminal justice can be a hard decision. The first thing you will need to decide is if you want to work for a federal or state agency. The purpose of State agencies is to uphold the laws of the given dominion, investigate local crimes, and provide patrol to their given jurisdiction. If you were to become a State police officer such as a state trooper, you would be working for a state agency. Some of the tasks performed by the state police include highway patrol and assisting in statewide investigations. Working for a Federal agency will include multiple duties. These departments are overseen by the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security. If you were to choose a career path as an FBI agent, you would be working on a federal level. There are 12 federal law enforcement agencies, with the FBI listed as the best to employ with. Choosing to work as an FBI agent, you will commit yourself to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats.

Overall, there are several career paths to choose to work for law enforcement. Choosing which level you would like to work for maybe a hard decision as a lot of the duties are similar. Both include tasks such as upholding public order and safety and apprehending those suspected of criminal transgression. The primary functions of them both are to enforce laws, maintain public order, and manage public safety. The primary duties of law enforcement include the investigation, apprehension, and detention of individuals suspected of criminal transgression. You will have to decide if you would like to work on a federal or state level and understand the duties you will have to perform to better serve the community.

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Differences Between Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
“Differences Between Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies.” GradesFixer, 30 Aug. 2022,
Differences Between Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Jan. 2023].
Differences Between Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Aug 30 [cited 2023 Jan 27]. Available from:
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