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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I'm wondering if a violation of 18 USC, SS 700 - Desecration of US Flag, how would th

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I'm wondering if a violation of 18 USC, SS 700 - Desecration of US Flag, how would the charge be presented? A misdemeanor or as a felony. I always assumed that violation of federal law was automatically deemed a felony. Considering that SS 700 can only be appealed in the US Supreme Court, further lends it to be a felony? Secondly, if the SCOTUS overturns a conviction under SS 700, as they did in in the case of Texas vs Johnson in 1989, does that mean 700 becomes void towards further prosecution under the law?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer. It will be my pleasure to assist you. This would actually be considered a misdemeanor. You can see sentencing guidelines under 18 USC 3559:(a) Classification.— An offense that is not specifically classified by a letter grade in the section defining it, is classified if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is—(1) life imprisonment, or if the maximum penalty is death, as a Class A felony;(2) twenty-five years or more, as a Class B felony;(3) less than twenty-five years but ten or more years, as a Class C felony;(4) less than ten years but five or more years, as a Class D felony;(5) less than five years but more than one year, as a Class E felony;(6) one year or less but more than six months, as a Class A misdemeanor;(7) six months or less but more than thirty days, as a Class B misdemeanor;(8) thirty days or less but more than five days, as a Class C misdemeanor; or(9) five days or less, or if no imprisonment is authorized, as an infraction.You can read the whole section of the code here: SCOTUS (or another Court of Appeal) overturns a ruling, the case is remanded (sent back) to the lower court for disposition consistent with their ruling. So, by way of crazy example, assume I am convicted of killing someone. I appeal an aspect under the law which I am convicted, and it makes its way all the way up to the Supreme Court who says that portion of the law I'm challenging is not good law, and reverses. The case would then be sent back to the lower court to make a new ruling taking into consideration what SCOTUS has said. So if they invalidate the law, or a portion of it, while prosecution doesn't become void, it would mean having to find a new way to convict a person.