All criminal charges are not created equal. There are those that are prosecuted at the state level. Others tend to be prosecuted at the federal level. The consequences for conviction also differ, with federal penalties tending to be more severe. If the allegation of a federal crime includes an associated weapons charge, the sentence can be stepped up upon conviction.
Bank robbery is one those charges that often is handled at the federal level because nearly all such operations are federally chartered. So, even if a suspect is arrested by local authorities, resulting charges could be leveled at both the state and federal levels. Such situations should never be met without the help of experienced legal counsel.
This is something that two young people may have on their minds. Police in Hampton say the 26-year-old male and 20-year-old female are in custody. As of last week, they were being held at the Hampton Sheriff's office -- suspects in the Oct. 8, 2013, hold up of the Navy Federal Credit Union.
According to police, a masked gunman held up the bank and got an undisclosed sum of cash. He then fled on a bicycle. No one was hurt. Authorities say they were directed toward the pair last week by a tip made to the department's Crime Line.
The male suspect has been booked on a charge of bank robbery and burglary while armed. He also is accused of two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and one count of wearing a mask in public. The female suspect is accused of just bank robbery.
There are no details provided regarding what evidence police might have or the breakdown of charges related to federal or state jurisdictions.
Source: Daily Press, "Hampton: Police charge two in October 2013 credit union robbery," Tyra M. Vaughn, Jan. 24, 2014