Alan Ellis Newsletters

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Jan

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 to do?" and "Where am ...

Nov

The federal presentence investigation report (PSR) is crucial for two purposes: First, it is the document most heavily relied on by the judge in imposing sentence—particularly in those cases where a guilty plea has been entered and the court knows little about the defendant. Had the defendant gone to trial, the court would have more information about the individual—or at ...

Apr

By Alan Ellis, Todd Bussert, and Mark Allenbaugh 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. “How much time am I going to ...

Oct

Among all types of federal offenses, child pornography inherently elicits the most visceral reaction. As the Internet and other technologies have allowed greater access to videos and photographs of child pornography, detection and prosecution has increased, with states and the federal government devoting substantial resources toward the investigation and prosecution of such offenses. Since the mid-1990s, referrals, prosecutions, and convictions for ...

Oct

By Alan Ellis, Todd Bussert, and J. Michael Henderson Approximately 94 percent of all federal criminal defendants plead guilty. Seventy-five percent of individuals who proceed to trial are convicted. Accordingly, there is a 97 percent chance that a person charged with a federal crime will ultimately face a judge for purposes of sentencing. For most, "How much time an I going ...