On January 6, 2021, America watched as hundreds of pro-Trump protesters descended on the Capitol building and wreacked havoc. Since then, more than 500 people have been charged with crimes for their part in what is often referred to as the Capitol Insurrection.
While few people were arrested on the day of the incident, hundreds have been charged after the event due to an overwhelming amount of news and social media footage. The camera footage from the incident and an FBI investigation have led to hundreds of arrests. The FBI is still actively working on identifying even more people who were there.
Now, people are wondering what will happen to the hundreds of people involved in the incident. Let’s look at what charges and potential outcomes await the Capitol rioters.
What Charges Do People Face?
A database by NPR lists 517 people who have been charged in the Capitol insurrection. It includes each person’s name, home state, and charges. The listed charges include a variety of crimes. Most people are charged with more than one offense and have already been arrested for their crimes.
The lesser charges include:
- Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
- Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
- Disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds
- Parade, demonstrate, or picket in any of the Capitol buildings
The more serious charges include:
- Obstruction of justice/Congress
- Engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds
- Physical violence on Capitol grounds
- Obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder
- Commit or attempt any act to obstruct, impede or interfere with law enforcement in performance of his official duties
- Assault, resisting, or impeding certain officers
- Forcible assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with law enforcement
- Assault on federal officer with dangerous weapon
- Conspiracy to injure an officer
The most serious charge is conspiracy, which at least 40 people are accused of, according to NPR. Another ninety-nine people are accused of committing acts of violence.
Where Will People Face Charges?
In the list of 517 people facing charges for their role in the insurrection, 49 people are from Florida. But, these people will not face state charges in Florida. They will face federal charges.
Because the crimes occurred on a federal property, the charges are Federal. They will be litigated in federal courts.
Can People Be Charged With Terrorism?
One charge that is exempt from the list is terrorism. While some people and politicians look at what happened and see a connection to terrorism, there is no legal ground to make a terrorism charge.
As FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month, there are no federal laws against domestic terrorism. While some states have anti-terrorism laws, there is no federal law that can classify the crimes of January 6th as such.
So, What Happens Next?
So far, no cases in the Capitol Insurrection have been brought to trial. Hundreds of people have been charged and arrested, and many have already appeared in court.
Many of the people involved with the Capitol Insurrection have pleaded not guilty. They are hiring criminal defense attorneys and making their case that they didn’t do anything wrong on January 6, 2021. Some are working with the court to create plea deals that could keep their case out of the court system and lead to a sentence reduction.
As far as potential sentencing:
- As of May 13, 2021, 44% of defendants were charged with low-level crimes that will likely result in no jail time if it is a first-time offense.
- Those charged with higher-level crimes may face prison time ranging from a few months up to twenty years. Violent crimes, such as assaulting a police officer, could end with eight to twenty years in prison.
- The length of sentencing will depend heavily on the seriousness of the crime and the person’s criminal history. Those with no record will likely receive lesser sentencing.
People charged with crimes will also likely seek attorneys who can manage a high-profile case due to the newsworthiness of the case. The news has been involved since the rioters broke through the first barricade and will be following the case until its conclusion.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, a proper defense is essential to ensure that your rights aren’t violated and that you get the best possible outcome. If you have been charged with a crime, see how TJ Grimaldi can help. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.