The federal government has its own court system with separate laws, regulations and procedures in which it prosecutes certain categories of crimes. If someone is found guilty on federal charges, that person can face serious penalties including large fines and lengthy prison sentences. However, it is possible, with the right help, for people to fight federal charges and avoid punishment.
For example, in a recent Chicago case, a federal judge has dismissed charges against a U.S. marshal. This man had been accused of civil rights violations in two incidents. In the first in 2008, the man was accused of obstructing justice and of head-butting a man who was handcuffed. In the second reported incident, the man was accused of chocking and punching a handcuffed man in 2010 and of obstructing justice after he allegedly tried to convince another official to lie about the incident.
According to the judge on the case, the charges against the man had to be dropped because he did not receive a fair trial. The judge claims that prosecutors from the Marshal Service Justice Department violated the man’s rights when they threatened other people. Apparently, theses officials threatened to prosecute or fire people if their testimony helped clear the man.
As can be seen in this case, every person has constitutional rights that must be protected in the federal court system. From the beginning of the investigation, through a criminal trial, people need to ensure that the police and prosecutors are not infringing on their constitutional rights. If people’s rights are not upheld, in some cases, evidence can be thrown out of court or charges can be dismissed. Therefore, ensuring that constitutional rights are respected should be a part of a comprehensive criminal defense strategy.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Charges dismissed against deputy marshal,” March 6, 2013