Author Archive

Sep

Click for the PDF version of this article. The process of designating a facility for service of a federal sentence has become more complex and involved. Previously, an inmate was assigned a security level and a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility with a corresponding security level was identified and designated. Now, however, in addition to receiving a security level, each ...

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 ...

Jun

Are you a lawyer in good standing? Want to help someone given a long sentence for a non-violent offense? Join Clemency Project 2014 Clemency (reduction in sentence) Criteria: Serving a federal sentence; Serving a sentence that, if imposed today, would be substantially shorter; Have a non-violent history with no significant ties to organized crime, gangs or cartels; Have served at ...

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 ...