Sentencing Tips

Dec

By Alan Ellis, Mark H. Allenbaugh, Robert Hunter, and Douglas C. Crawford Click for the PDF version. When imposing a sentence, the US Sentencing Guidelines (USSG) instruct judges to consider and weigh two distinct aspects of the crime: “the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant.” ...

Oct

By Alan Ellis and Mark H. Allenbaugh Click for the PDF version of this article. INTRODUCTION  According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, federal prosecutions of child pornography possession, distribution and production offenses rose more than 2000% since 1992. This is far and away the fastest growing prosecution rate of any of the major offense ...

Oct

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. ...

Sep

Click for the PDF version of this article. Approximately 97 percent of all federal criminal defendants plead guilty. Seventy-five percent of the others who proceed to trial are convicted. Almost 99 percent will ultimately be sentenced. Over 87 percent will be sentenced to prison. Thus, for most offenders the three key concerns are: “How much time am ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Jul

By Alan Ellis and Tess Lopez In fall 2009, a client was facing sentencing in a small town after a lengthy trial. Not only was he facing sentencing in a case that had attracted national attention, he also faced an unsympathetic local community as well as an antagonistic press. It was clear to our defense team that a unique approach was ...