Convicted of a federal crime and being sent to a federal prison is a serious punishment. Both
have long-lasting consequences.
However, some individuals already serving time in prison may be subject to additional
prosecutions for crimes they have allegedly committed. This may seem unfair or excessive, but
there are legal justifications for these charges.
One recent case that illustrates this phenomenon is that of a criminal organization leader who
was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for money laundering, drug trafficking, and other
related crimes. While serving his sentence, the individual was charged with a new crime related
to his involvement in an arson scheme.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, the individual had
conspired with others to burn down a building to collect insurance money. He was ultimately
convicted of conspiracy to commit arson and received an additional 10-year sentence to be
served consecutively with his existing sentence.
This case shows that even if an individual is already serving time for one federal crime, they can
still be charged and prosecuted for additional crimes.
But why is this allowed?
The answer lies in the principles of the U.S. criminal justice system and the way that federal law
Why Can Someone Face Additional Charges If Already Convicted Of A Federal Crime?
One reason why someone can still face new federal charges even after being convicted of a
previous crime is that each crime is considered a separate offense under federal law.
For example, Title 8 of the U.S. Code makes it illegal to harbor or transport undocumented
immigrants, while Title 18 prohibits money laundering and conspiracy to commit a crime,
among other offenses. Each of these offenses is defined and punished separately, so even if
someone has been convicted of one federal crime, they can still be charged and tried for other
crimes they may have committed.
Another reason why someone can face new charges while already serving time for a federal
crime is that some offenses may have occurred after their initial conviction.
In the case of the criminal organization leader mentioned earlier, his involvement in the arson
conspiracy occurred while he was already serving time for his previous crimes. This means that
he had committed a new offense while already serving time in prison, and was therefore subject
to new charges and prosecution.
What Federal Laws Allow For The Charging Of New Crimes?
There are also specific federal laws that allow for individuals to be charged with new crimes
even if they are already serving time for a previous offense. For example,
Title 18 of the U.S. Code makes it a crime to conspire to commit any federal offense, regardless
of whether the conspiracy is successful or not. This means that if someone conspires with
others to commit a new federal crime while already serving time for a previous offense, they can
be charged and prosecuted for conspiracy.
Similarly, federal law also prohibits the use of explosives and arson, and anyone who is found
guilty of these crimes can face severe penalties, including long prison sentences. Even if
someone is already serving time for a previous crime, they can still be charged and prosecuted
for arson or related offenses if they are found to have committed them.
In conclusion, being convicted of a federal crime and serving time in prison is a serious
punishment, but it does not necessarily mean that an individual is immune to further
prosecution. There are legal justifications for charging and prosecuting individuals who commit
new federal crimes while already serving time for a previous offense.