On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Criminal Law on Thursday, January 17, 2013
A federal court in Missouri recently sentenced a St. Louis man to 35 years in prison for his alleged part in an attempted armed bank robbery that left one person dead. According to investigators, the 25-year-old defendant and another man tried to rob a Kansas City bank on two separate occasions. Police say the first time the men forced a teller to hand over more than $8,000 while she was held at gunpoint. On the second attempt, the men are said to have discharged a shotgun at a 70-year-old security guard who later died from gunshot injuries.
Under criminal law, crimes that allegedly involve banks fall under the jurisdiction of federal prosecutors because most financial institutions are linked to the U.S. government. Federal criminal charges are serious, especially when they involve the death of another person. People who find themselves facing federal prosecution are entitled to legal representation and are well-advised to seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney versed in federal criminal procedure.
The defendant in this case chose to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, armed bank robbery and the discharge of a firearm resulting in death. Under some circumstances, it is in a defendant’s best interest to plead guilty to a criminal charge because they may be given the opportunity to serve lighter penalties in return for their plea. Another benefit of admitting guilt is that an individual may avoid a criminal trial and any risk of conviction for a more serious offense.
However, if a defendant’s attorney is able to find evidence that supports their client’s innocence or implicates any procedural errors made by law enforcement, it is often best to forgo a plea agreement. No matter the alleged offense, prosecutors must show a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high standard of proof, and any substantive or procedural evidence that damages the prosecution’s case increases the likelihood of an acquittal or an outright dismissal of the charges.
Source: Examiner, “St. Louis man sentenced in death of bank guard from Blue Springs,” Jan. 4, 2013