If a defendant is convicted of a federal crime, the courts will consider numerous factors in determining an appropriate sentence. Among other things, the courts will assess whether the defendant brandished a firearm during the commission of the unlawful acts and whether the offenses in question constitute crimes of violence as defined by federal law. The issue of what crimes are deemed violent is often contemplated by the federal courts. Recently, the United States Supreme Court definitively ruled that an attempted Hobbs Act robbery does not fall under the definition. If you are charged with a violent offense, it is wise to talk to a Clearwater violent crime defense lawyer as soon as possible.
The Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant and a co-conspirator attempted to rob an individual selling drug. The individual was shot during the attempted robbery. The defendant was subsequently charged with numerous crimes, including attempted Hobbs Act robbery and conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery. His indictment also alleged that both offenses were predicate crimes of violence. The defendant entered a guilty plea to use a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.
It is reported that the prosecution agreed to dismiss the remaining charges. The defendant was ultimately convicted of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. He sought habeas review, asking the Court to vacate his conviction and remand the matter for resentencing on the grounds that the predicate offenses were not, in fact crimes of violence. The appellate court granted the appeal, and the government appealed to the United States Supreme Court.