State and federal courts take on different crimes, depending on the nature of the allegation, jurisdiction where it occurred, and the severity of the offense. One of the most common instances are bank robberies, which are investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and typically prosecuted in federal court.
In a recent case, two Alabama men have been charged with federal crimes for allegedly robbing eight banks in the Southeastern region. According to the FBI and U.S. Attorney, the men were charged in federal court with bank robbery, conspiracy, intimidating a witness, brandishing a firearm during a violent felony, and interstate transport of a stolen vehicle.
The defendants, from Mobile and Pritchard, were charged in a Mississippi federal court for the alleged crimes, which occurred between 2008 and 2013. According to the prosecution, the crimes occurred in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of accused criminals in state and federal court. We understand the serious criminal charges and penalties facing both state and federal defendants. Our priority is to raise the best possible defense to protect the rights and long-term interests of our clients.
According to reports, the defendants were convicted after a two week trial. One defendant was charged with 17 counts of bank robbery, conspiracy, brandishing a firearm during a felony and transportation of a stolen vehicle across state lines. The other defendant was convicted of 11 separate counts of the same crimes. The U.S. District judge will sentence both of the defendants in October.
Law enforcement reports and court documents indicate that the men robbed three separate banks throughout Mississippi. In 2013, the convicted felons robbed banks in Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama. According to prosecutors, there was a four-year gap in the robberies when one of the defendants was incarcerated for another conviction. Two additional defendants were arrested and charged related to the crimes. They pled guilty and were given leniency because they cooperated against the primary defendants. Federal investigators will often use informants to support or prove a larger case against more prominent defendants. Remember that if you are being interrogated for a federal crime, it is likely that the law enforcement officials have been building a case against you for weeks or months, maybe even years.
Federal crimes, especially those of the caliber and severity in this case, can result in serious penalties. The defendants are facing prison sentences of 25 years and a $250,000 fine for each count and potentially 5 years in prison and a $250,000 crime for each count of conspiracy to commit a crime. In addition to stiff penalties and a lengthy prison sentence, the felony charges will bring a host of other penalties, even once are released from prison. In the event that you are being investigated or charged with federal or serious felony crimes, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate as soon as possible. Negotiating a plea bargain for a lesser charge is possible, but before you plead guilty, it is important to understand the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction.