Author Archives for RonH

Characteristics of the Best Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

September 29, 2021 1:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I’ve been doing this now for almost 30 years, handling matters at the federal level all over the country.  I think I have a pretty good feel for those attorneys who I would consider among the best. Of course, I am including myself in there, so a lot of the things I am touching upon, I believe I possess the superior skills as it relates to them. I think the first thing, believe it or not, is really getting a feel for your client, what their hopes are, how is life is set up and what it is going to...


Federal Sentencing for RICO Act Violations

June 9, 2021 1:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Are You Looking at a Long Federal Prison Sentence if You’re Involved in a RICO Case? Organized crime in the United States is generally described as a criminal enterprise with members engaging in illegal activity for financial gain. The federal RICO Act was first used by prosecutors to go after mob leaders, but has evolved into a powerful tool against fraud, extortion, and drug cartels. The Organized Crime Control Act includes the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law that allows prosecutors to file charges against the members within of the organization. Racketeering is a term used to describe members...


Seizure of Home Computers in a Child Pornography Investigation

May 25, 2021 1:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

What Should I Do After the Feds Search My Home and Take My Computers in a Child Pornography Investigation? If anyone is found possessing, producing, selling or distributing any material depicting a child under 18 in a sexual manner, they could face federal charges of child pornography under 18 U.S.C. § 2252. The subsections of 18 U.S.C. § 2252 describe different categories of conduct covered by the statute. For example, it’s a federal crime to knowingly transport child porn using interstate commerce, by computer or mail, visual depictions of a minor who is engaged in sexually explicit conduct. These subsections...


How to Get a Short Sentence in Federal Criminal Case

March 22, 2021 1:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re charged with a federal crime, you obviously don’t want to go to prison for a long time. Probably one of the biggest factors that will get you a short sentence is if your attorney can convince the judge that you’re not a threat to the community and you don’t deserve to get a lengthy sentence. There are a number of what we call downward departures which can be used to help you.  For example, your family circumstances, if you cooperate with the government you can get a 5K departure which can take your sentence down significantly, if you...


Factors That Cause Long Prison Sentences in a Federal Case

March 20, 2021 2:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There are a whole host of factors that judges and prosecutors look at when dealing with federal criminal cases and giving lengthy sentences.  One of the biggest, obviously, is whether you’ve committed a crime that has a mandatory minimum. For example, there are certain theft offenses that a 2-year mandatory minimum if it’s aggravated.  Also, there are certain drug crimes, that if you have enough of the drug, there’s a 10-year mandatory minimum. There’s a number of other situations where mandatory minimums apply. Obviously, one of the biggest things you want to do if you’re facing one of these mandatory...


Are Federal Courts in Los Angeles Open During the Coronavirus?

March 19, 2021 1:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

For the most part, judges in federal court, at least across the criminal courts, are really trying to prevent litigants from coming into their courtroom. They are mostly seeing video and WebEx type appearances, meaning that all parties will appear on video. Nobody is really going into the courtroom. The one exception that I see in the criminal court at 255 East Temple Street on the third floor, which is pretty much the initial appearance or arraignment court, post-indictment arraignment. Video Court Appearances A lot of times they actually have the defendants there in the building, but they’re doing video...


Who Decides Your Sentence in a Federal Criminal Case?

March 18, 2021 1:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A lot of people get confused when it comes to these federal criminal cases.  They don’t realize that even though your attorney is going to argue for the lowest possible sentence, and the prosecutor sometimes will ask for the highest possible sentence, that the bottom line is, ultimately the judge will decide what your fate is as far as your sentence goes. That’s why a lot of times at the plea when someone is entering a guilty plea to the charges, the judge will specifically ask the defendant whether or not anyone has promised them anything. Factors Considered By Federal...


Do You Have to Personally Appear in Federal Criminal Court?

March 17, 2021 1:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When it comes to federal criminal cases, over the last 27 years, I would answer that question yes, absolutely.  There’s no way you can phone in your appearance in a federal criminal case. Now, with the Coronavirus, that’s pretty much the only way the federal courts are doing business.  I’ve had a number of sentencings where my client wanted to appear in person. Basically, it was very clear to me that they were not going to allow that to happen.  One, we refused to sign the stipulation to continue it, so the court continued it on its own motion. Video...


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Fraud Cases

January 21, 2021 2:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Are There Any Trends In The Federal Realm Between Everything That’s Happened In 2020 With The PPP Loan Frauds? Is There Any Type Of Case That The Federal Government Is Going After More? The federal government is definitely investigating any type of fraud that’s related to the funds that were given out, such as SBA loans, PPP loans, and unemployment benefits given to individuals. It is definitely on their radar to investigate people who are claiming unemployment when they’re really not unemployed. When you compare the federal to state, the mechanisms that deal with criminal cases have really been affected the most....


Traits the Best Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Have in Common

January 20, 2021 1:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I’ve been doing federal criminal defense now for the past 27 years, and I think one of the most powerful traits that the best criminal defense attorneys has is a well-rounded background as it relates to defending federal criminal cases. That means: understanding how prosecutors deal with cases, understanding how judges deal with cases, and understanding what it takes for a defense attorney to be successful in a federal case. Whether the case is going to trial or whether the case is going to be resolved by way of a plea agreement.  This takes time, experience and a certain type of...