There is little doubt that, for most Pennsylvania residents, facing allegations of federal crimes can be a scary ordeal to endure. Add in the complications that can arise from also facing accusations of state crimes, and it can be even scarier. One Pennsylvania man recently found himself in this position after being charged with federal crimes of bank robbery and a state crime of stolen property. This situation could have led to the man serving the sentence for each set of allegations separately; but fortunately he was able to work out a more favorable deal with authorities.
The man had reportedly confessed to committing a succession of bank robberies in Pennsylvania in late 2012. He also supposedly admitted to officials that he had stolen a vehicle that was used during the commission of two of the robberies. The man was first sentenced on the federal bank robbery charges and received an 8-year prison sentence. Pennsylvania officials were then set to sentence him on the local charges; however, a technicality of law would have forced the man to serve his two sentences consecutively rather than concurrently.
To avoid this, his representative requested that the state officials grant him bail and release him back to the federal authorities. He will now be able to serve his bank robbery sentence in a federal prison and be sentenced on the state charge via video. His state sentence should be eligible to run concurrently while he is serving time in the federal prison. The reverse would not have been true due to the way federal law currently stands.
As this case illustrates, being accused of both federal crimes and state charges can lead to complications for Pennsylvania residents. This tends to make it even more important for a person in this type of situation to fully understand both state and federal law. By having a clear understanding, an accused individual may be able to make the best possible deal with authorities based upon the facts of a specific case.
Source: Source: Lewistown Sentinel, "Bank robber to be transferred to federal prison," Kiernan M. Schalk, July 13, 2013