Author Archives for RonH

Does The Judge Have Any Input Into A Federal A Plea Agreement?

January 10, 2020 4:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Where the judges’ power is in a federal case is at the sentencing. The judges have complete discretion, tempered by the sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors are the ones who control what the charges are that are filed against the defendant. Judges don’t usually interfere with the charges or with a plea agreement, unless they believe it is unfair. In that case, the plea would either have to be changed or the case would have to go to trial. Are Plea Bargains Available In All Federal Cases? Typically, with someone who has got federal charges against them, their case is set for...


Can I Ever Withdraw A Guilty Plea In A Federal Case?

January 10, 2020 3:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When you go into federal court to enter your plea, the judge goes through a long colloquy related to your rights, what you’re getting yourself into, and your discussions with your attorney. It is rare that a federal judge would allow a person to withdraw a plea. There certainly are grounds, in some cases, but again it is never a good idea. It could result in disaster, as far as a more serious sentence. If I Accept A Plea Offer And Plead Guilty, Can I Appeal This Decision Later? Built into most federal plea agreements is language related to the...


When Does The Plea Bargaining Process Start In A Federal Case?

January 10, 2020 3:11 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

After the client initially appears and the judge determines whether they are to be released or to stay in custody, the client and the attorney are given the indictment in the case, which is the charging document. The prosecutors have to get all the paperwork related to the case to the attorney and the attorney will review it with their client and make a decision on whether it’s the type of case that they want to negotiate or if they should fight the case. Negotiation with Federal Prosecutor on Plea Agreement If it is decided that it is in the...


Federal Criminal Money Laundering Charges

October 16, 2019 4:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

What most people don’t realize is that a federal criminal money laundering case can take many different forms and it’s a bit confusing because you look at the law on this subject and a lot of these websites are just spouting off a bunch of law without giving any explanation — without breathing any life into the subject matter — because people sometimes when they get arrested or indicted for money laundering they can’t even figure out what they’ve done wrong. Illegally Obtained Money or Credit Line The issues is, you basically have proceeds or money or a credit line...


Federal Criminal Defense of Law Enforcement Officers

October 15, 2019 3:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In the twenty-five years that I’ve been defending police officers who have been charged I’ve noticed that a lot of times once a police officer is charged, unfortunately they are treated and viewed as the very criminals that they are sworn to protect society against. I really think it does them a disservice because the prosecutors tend to lose sight of the fact that these individuals have helped the community for many years and it’s not fair to just jump to the conclusion that all of a sudden they’re a criminal just because somebody made a filing decision to charge...


Will Judge Compare Co-Defendant Sentence in Federal Criminal Case?

October 14, 2019 3:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

This is a good question because a lot of federal criminal cases, multiple defendants are charged at the same time, and usually what you’ll see is whoever’s at the top of the indictment in a federal criminal case, is usually who the prosecutors or government view as the most serious players in the criminal case.  In other words, the ones who are most involved who are facing the most time in a criminal case. So, a lot of times you want to see what one defendant will get and if you’re similar to that defendant, you can make an argument...


Using Family Circumstances to Lower Your Federal Criminal Sentence

October 9, 2019 2:54 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When it comes to sentencing in federal criminal cases, judges can look at all sorts of different factors, and certainly person’s family circumstances would be a relevant inquiry.  But, the reality is, unless you’ve got some serious family circumstances, it’s unlikely that the court in a federal criminal case is going to look at that and give you levels off based on a family circumstance departure argument. Federal Judges Are Strict On Allowing Family Issue Departure I make all kinds of family circumstance arguments and sometimes I have been successful, but one of the biggest problems is usually everybody has...


Can Playing a Minor Role in a Federal Criminal Sentencing Help You?

October 8, 2019 4:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When it comes to sentencing at a federal level as it relates to criminal cases, one of the key things that you and your attorney want to try to do is obviously, give all of the mitigating information related to you and your circumstances and this concept of minor role and definitely help in that. Mitigating Factors in Federal Sentencing As you may probably already know, if you’re in the middle of your federal criminal case, the lower your levels are the less sentence you are potentially facing from the judge.  One way to get a couple of levels knocked...


Federal Sentence Reductions For Substantial Cooperation

January 18, 2019 10:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Federal sentences can be reduced for substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of another, and the mandatory minimum may not have to be followed. There are rules under which a sentence is commonly reduced for “substantial assistance,” including Section 5K1.1 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Both of these motions  fall under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(e). These rules can be used to reduce a mandatory minimum sentence. When it comes to cooperation in a federal case across the nation, basically what prosecutors do is they try and get people who...