How Long Would Capitol Rioters Go To Jail (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 18 months to 4 Years

On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., was vehemently attacked by a horde of followers of President Donald Trump. They attempted to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election by agitating the joint session of Congress gathered to count electoral votes that would formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The Capitol Complex had to be pack up and, lawmakers, staff led to evacuation while rioters invaded and vandalized the building for several hours.
Five people died a little while before, an individual assaulted by Capitol Police, another died of a drug overdose, and three others succumbed to natural causes. Including 138 police officers, many people got injured.

Four officers who acknowledged the riot committed suicide within seven months.

How Long Would Capitol Rioters Go To Jail

How Long Would Capitol Rioters Go To Jail?

Plea Deals For Capitol RiotersTime of Prison
First Plea Deal41 to 51 months
Second Plea Deal15 to 21 months

Prisoners who cite guilty to some of the most critical crimes, like assailing police or stocking weapons into the Capitol, are suffering a baseline sentence of three to four years behind bars; that could go up depending on the level of harshness or below if the person coordinates, among other factors.

The first-ever guilty pleas fixed a benchmark. That makes any new impression into the sentences defendants are facing in exchange for getting a deal exceptional. To give an example of a scenario with the names of the involved anonymous,

A lawyer for Prisoner A, charged with leading a mob that trailed US Capitol Police Officer 1 and carrying a knife, registered a brief estimating that his client’s worst-case situation if he ended up pleading guilty was a sentencing limit of 41 to 51 months in prison. Those same characters came up in a plea deal published in April for Prisoner 2, charged with carrying a weapon which was a can of bear spray, inside the Capitol.

Later after a week, the second plea deal arrived in those cases where the prosecutors said that Prisoner 3 suffered an expected 15 to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to blocking Congress.

Capitol Rioters

That same range had come up before, in a brief seeking pre-trial release for Prisoner 4. His lawyer contended that he wasn’t facing “very critical” charges because of the moderately low volume of prison time he was expected to face if he appealed guilty to interference.

The blocking of an official proceeding, a crime committed by more than 200 people, was charged with 20 years in prison. Illegally accessing the Capitol is misconduct, but carrying a dangerous weapon, along with more than 40 individuals was charged, carries up to 10 years in prison. Assaulting police officers carry up to 8 years of prison time or 20 years if any weapon is involved.

Why Would Capitol Rioters Go To Jail For That Long?

Many offenders in criminal cases are sentenced to considerably less time behind bars than the most severe penalty available under the law. That’s particularly true if somebody pleads guilty or if their criminal record is minimal, which is what the initial sentencing-related court filings in the Capitol revolt cases are carrying out.

If an offender goes to trial and loses, the sentencing ranges in plea deal cases serve as a jumping-off point for knowing how much prison time is on the table as they won’t get the credit that will build into the justice system for pleas.

An offender’s sincere plea at sentencing can convince a judge to go with the base end of guidelines or beneath it together. A display of disrespect or lack of repentance can convince the judge to go higher. At a hearing, in the case of an alleged Capitol Rioter, US District Judge warned the offender that his lack of compliance with pretrial release conditions could come back to him at sentencing if he pleaded guilty or lost at trial.

Capitol Rioters

An unknown fact is what sort of plea deals could arise in cases where offenders charged with assaulting police, which judges have overwhelmingly indicated that they consider one of the most severe crimes committed on January 6. More than 130 people with charges at least one of impeding, assaulting, or resisting the Police Officers. Most of these claims involve accusations of assault, some defendants charged under the impeding spike.


It’s eventually up to judges to choose sentences. The ranges cited in court filings are meant to guide judges, but they aren’t necessary. These guidelines are based on a preset ratio that assigns numerical values to factors such as the type of offense, a person’s criminal history, and whether they accepted guilt and pleaded guilty.

Judges are wary of deviating from these areas since they’re assigned to create uniformity across the federal criminal justice system, but they have the power to do it.


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