Having criminal charges brought against you can have serious long-term consequences. A conviction can lead to years in prison, large fines and sometimes the loss of property or assets. Fighting against such charges is possible with a strong legal defense, as demonstrated by the recent indictment of a pair of brothers who face federal criminal charges for a beating offense. The trial should be especially interesting to Oakland residents, because the incident occurred in nearby Shelby Township.

Two Shelby Township brothers, ages 48 and 60, were indicted by a federal grand jury for beating a restaurant owner with a baseball bat. The two brothers, owners of an Italian restaurant, are accused of beating the rival restaurateur after allegedly attempting to extort the man over a three-year period to prevent the restaurant from opening, with the first attempt occurring in 2009. Originally the charges brought against the brothers were for attempted murder, and both faced life sentences for the 2011 beating. The two were allowed to plea bargain, reducing the charges.

The brothers are cousins to a man who the U.S. Justice Department claims is a crime family boss. They allegedly used their connection to this boss, as well as relations with a Sicilian Mafia boss located in the hometown of the man they were accused of beating, to threaten violence against the restaurant owner during the extortion period prior to the attack. The victim of the attack has sued the brothers for damages related to the attack.

Residents in the Oakland area have a right to defend themselves in court against any charges brought against them, whether the charges are on the state level or federal in nature. They also have the right to attempt a plea bargain deal with prosecutors, as was done in the beating case. With a plea bargain, a lower charge may be applied, possibly lessening the consequences of any criminal activity.

Source: The Oakland Press, "Federal prosecutors: Shelby Township brothers, indicted after beating, tied to Mafia boss in Italy," Mitch Hotts, Feb. 26, 2013