September 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court may have a significant impact upon individuals charged with federal crimes. The case concerns a robbery of a store manager by two individuals. The suspects devised a scheme in which they would fake car trouble, and when the store manager stopped, they would rob him of the store's deposits, which were being transported to a nearby bank.
When the store manager stopped his car, one of the robbers approached the manager with a gun and demanded the money. The money was turned over, and the suspects fled. Later, one of the two robbers was arrested, and charged with multiple federal crimes.
The man who was arrested in this case was believed to be the getaway driver. However, since the man's accomplice used a gun when robbing the manager, the man faced additional weapons related charges. The man was convicted of these charges.
The judge in this case believed that the evidence demonstrated that the man should have been aware that a gun was going to be used in the robbery. Because of this, the sentence that was handed down was much longer. The man appealed, claiming that the sentencing judge's decision to raise the mandatory minimum sentence violated his Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial.
Earlier decisions made for long odds with this appeal. However, in this case, the Court made a surprising decision. It stated that these facts, which can potentially increase the criminal penalties that may be handed down, must be presented to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt. These facts are considered to be elements of a crime, which need to be decided by the jury before they can be used to enhance sentences.
This decision is expected to have a serious impact on many criminal cases, including federal drug crimes
matters. There is some question about kinds of information a jury will be required to decide, and the Court has not provided clear guidance on that issue. Many individuals had been sentenced under the old laws created by the prior decisions, and the new ruling could open the door for a re-examination of those sentences as well.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, it is important that you are aware of the serious consequences that you are facing. If you are convicted, you will be required to serve time in a federal prison. Even after you have completed your sentence, you may encounter difficulties as you attempt to rejoin society.
Speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about the steps you need to take to defend yourself from these allegations. An attorney can walk you through the evidence that the prosecution has against you, and help you consider your options. If you decide to go to trial, it is important that you work with someone who has presented similar cases to judges and juries. This will allow you to be confident that rights are being protected.
Article provided by Law Office of Kenneth W. Brashier
Visit us at www.brashierlaw.com