There are two different sets of laws in North Carolina. The state has its laws, and then there are federal laws. You probably know about the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law. This document allows for two levels of laws. Some of them may overlap. If you face a charge in federal court, it will be different than if you go to a state court.

The U.S. Courts explain that both state and federal court systems have multiple levels of courts. The federal courts hear and rule on cases based on federal laws whereas state courts hear and decide cases based on state laws. There are some situations that only occur in one of these courts. For example, anything involving bankruptcy only happens in federal court.

Both court systems allow you to appeal a decision to a higher court within that system. For example, if you have a case in state court, your appeal will be heard by a higher state court. One point that sets them apart is that if you appeal as high as you can go in a state court, it may not qualify to go before the U.S. Supreme Court. In federal cases, every case can be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is up to the court which cases it wants to hear.

Finally, when it comes to judges, federal court judges are nominated by the president and approved by the Senate. Judges in state courts may be elected or appointed. This information is for education and is not legal advice.