The federal or a state government prosecutes parties that have committed crimes against the state. In this context, “the state,” can be crimes that break federal laws that govern the entire country of United State, or crimes that go against state or local laws that are governed by state courts. A crime against the state doesn’t necessarily mean that someone attacked a government worker or damaged a public building (even though it can be this type of crime.) Robbery and murder are just two examples of crimes against the state. When a defendant is found guilty in a criminal case, they typically are sentenced to time in prison and sometimes are given a fine.
Crimes can be committed against federal and state governments.
If someone who is charged with a crime cannot afford a private attorney, they can ask to have a public defender appointed to them. A public defender is an attorney-at-law that is paid for by the state or federal government. A defendant in a criminal case has the option of defending themselves without the aid of an attorney.
Criminal trials are typically tried with a jury but some jurisdictions allow defendants to waive their right to a jury trial. Trials that are solely decided by a judge are often referred to as bench trials.
Some criminal cases are settled before they go to trial.