Alan Ellis Blog

Jul

  It is important for defense counsel to make sure that the Presentence Investigation Report (PSR) adequately documents any drug abuse or dependency (illegal or prescription) or alcohol problem. Unless a client’s substance abuse is adequately documented in the PSR, he or she may not qualify for the BOP’s Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP), and will not get the chance to ...

Jul

I’ve been practicing law for nearly 50 years. During that time, I have had a great deal of experience with judges who have been willing to share all manner of suggestions. This article presents some of their best advice for white-collar criminal defense attorneys whose clients are facing sentencing. Minimize citations in your sentencing memorandum. For example, don’t cite or quote ...

Jun

Attorneys can take advantage of clarifying amendments after November 1, 2015, certainly at sentencing and on direct appeal (ideally if raised in the district court below) inasmuch as the amendments merely clarify pre-existing Guidelines language. New counsel may even arguably raise them in the context of an ineffective assistance of counsel claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2255 in the event ...

Jun

By Alan Ellis and Mark H. Allenbaugh This is the fourth and final newsletter in a four-part series regarding the April 9, 2015, vote by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to fundamentally fix some portions of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. These fixes will become final on November 1, 2015, if Congress does not act to the contrary. The prior newsletters reviewed ...

May

By Alan Ellis and Mark H. Allenbaugh This is the third newsletter in a four-part series regarding the April 9, 2015, vote by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to fundamentally fix some portions of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. These fixes will become final on November 1, 2015 if Congress does not act to the contrary. The prior newsletters reviewed ...

May

by Alan Ellis and Mark H. Allenbaugh This is the second newsletter in a four-part series regarding the April 9, 2015, vote by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to fundamentally fix some portions of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. These fixes will become final on November 1, 2015 if both Houses of Congress do not act to the contrary. The prior newsletter reviewed ...

Apr

by Alan Ellis and Mark H. Allenbaugh On April 9, 2015, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to fundamentally fix some portions of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines that have long been in need of repair. These fixes will become final on November 1, 2015 if Congress does not act to the contrary. Of the 700+ amendments to the ...

Mar

Ensure Your Client Serves Time in the Best Facility Once a defense attorney understands how the system works, there are four things he or she can do to ensure that a client serves time in the best possible facility. Ensure the accuracy of the information on which the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will rely to make its designation decision. Score the client and ...

Feb

Approximately 97% of all federal criminal defendants plead guilty. Of those who proceed to trial, 75% are convicted. Almost 99% will ultimately be sentenced. Over 87% will be sentenced to prison. Thus, for most offenders “How much time am I going to do?”,”Where am I going to do it?” and “How soon am I going to get home?” are the ...

Feb

In the criminal justice system, approximately 94 percent of all federal criminal defendants plead guilty. Seventy-five percent of the remaining individuals who proceed to trial are convicted. There is, therefore, a 97 percent chance that a person charged with a federal crime will ultimately face a judge for purposes of sentencing. For most individuals “How much time am I going ...

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