There are similarities and differences between the two. While the same standard of proof for a conviction applies, how a case is handled between State and Federal Courts differs drastically. In resolving a case in State Court, your white collar criminal defense lawyer can negotiate the exact outcome with the Prosecutor or District Attorney, conference the case with a judge, and tell you prior to sentencing whether there will be incarceration, a term of probation, or what the restitution amount will be. On the other hand, in Federal Court, when a case is resolved the ultimate outcome is decided by the Judge at the date of the sentence. While certain factual matters and dollar figure amounts can be agreed to with the Government or U.S. Attorney’s Office, these stipulations are ultimately not binding on the Court. Prior to the sentencing in Federal Court, you will only know if there is maximum penalty and/or a mandatory minimum sentence, and the federal sentencing guideline offense level recommendation, but you will not know the exact penalty until the date of sentencing.