There are rules in place extending special protections to these designated representatives, appointees, and judges in order to preserve the integrity of the government and to ensure that any defendant who engages in harmful or threatening behavior towards the people’s representatives faces serious consequences.
Those who are entitled to special protections include members of congress, cabinet members who are appointed by the president of the United States, and justices who are serving on the Supreme Court. Congress, the executive branch, and the Supreme Court together make up the three branches of the United States government created by the U.S. Constitution in order to ensure that there were checks and balances in place to prevent the unlawful exercise of power and to make sure the peoples’ voices are heard in government.
If you have been accused of violating laws that are in place to protect these officials serving within the federal government, you should be aware of the severity of the charges that you face. The consequences of being convicted can be life changing and you need to respond in an assertive and intelligent way to the charges you are facing to try to reduce the likelihood of conviction.
To develop your legal defense strategy, it is imperative that you have a skilled attorney who understands the federal laws related to crimes against government officials and who has practical experience defending clients in federal court who are facing serious charges. LV Criminal Defense can help.
Our federal criminal defense lawyers have provided representation to defendants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and surrounding states who are charged with all different types of federal crimes including those involving crimes against government officials.
To find out more about how our firm can help you when you are accused of wrongdoing or are charged, give us a call today.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
18 U.S. Code Chapter 18 is the part of the federal penal code that defines the types of conduct that can result in being charged with criminal actions against congressmen, cabinet members, and Supreme Court justices. There is one statute within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 18 which establishes the specific nature of the crime, explains what a prosecutor would need to secure a conviction, and imposes penalties upon defendants who are convicted.
The relevant statute is 18 U.S. Code section 351. According to this statute, you can be charged with a federal offense if you kill a member of congress or a member-of congress elect who has not yet taken office. You can also be charged if you kill a member of the executive branch of the government who is the head of one of many specific government departments, or who has been nominated to serve as a department head.
Directors, those nominated to be directors, second-ranking officials in departments, and the principal deputy director of national intelligence are also protected under this statute and you can be charged if you kill them, and the deputy director of the CIA is protected as well. If you kill a major presidential or vice presidential candidate or a Supreme Court justice or a nominee to the Supreme Court whose nomination is pending, you can be charged as well.
Killing any of these listed people will result in penalties as defined by section 1111 and section 1112 of 18 U.S. Code Title 18 . Section 1111 is the statute defining murder and Section 1112 is the statute defining manslaughter. Penalties could include up to life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Kidnapping one of the individuals named within 18 U.S. Code section 351, including officials, directors, or candidates can also lead to a defendant being charged. The penalty for kidnapping one of the protected government officials is either life imprisonment or death if the kidnapped person dies.
Attempted kidnapping, or attempted murder, can also result in life imprisonment, while conspiring with anyone else to violate 18 U.S. code section 351 by kidnapping or killing a protected government official could result in a life sentence or the death penalty.
Assaulting designated officials, on the other hand, can result in a fine and imprisonment for up to a year, unless a dangerous weapon was used or injury resulted, in which case a defendant convicted of the offense could face imprisonment for up to 10 years.
The relevant statute makes clear that alleged violations of the laws protecting government officials from kidnapping, murder or assault can be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Federal, state, and local agencies, including agencies of the military, can also provide help with any investigation that must take place.
And, if a defendant is charged under this part of the federal code, it is not a defense to claim that he did not know who the official was. If the attack happens, the defendant can still be charged with this federal offense even if he did not realize his victim was a member of congress.
If you are accused of kidnapping, assaulting or kidnapping a government official protected by 18 U.S. Code section 351 – or of attempting to engage in any of these actions – your future and your very life could be at stake. You need to take swift action to reach out to a federal criminal defense lawyer who can fight for your future.
LV Criminal Defense represents clients in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and California who have been accused of federal offenses. Because we have extensive experience defending clients in federal court, you can feel confident that your case is in good hands with us and we will do everything possible to help you get the best outcome possible.
To find out more about the assistance we can offer as you face serious charges, give us a call today.