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I want to personally welcome you to the Hedding Law Firm Federal Criminal Defense Blog. We will make every effort to discuss the latest developments and issues in the Federal Criminal Defense World. There are so many issues related to federal criminal cases, I am sure that we will cover many of them as the months and years pass.

Probably the most significant topic ,related to the federal criminal system, is the federal sentencing guidelines. Many people do not realize that the same federal guidelines are used across the country. It is also important to note that the federal criminal defense sentencing guidelines are advisory..a judge now has the ability to give whatever sentence they deem long as they consider the sentencing guides. This development has now shifted significant discretion back to the federal court judges. In my opinion, this has given and will continue to give deserving defendants the opportunity to stay out of federal prison.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading about some of the topics, issues and cases in this blog. If you are charged with a federal crime, I encourage you to contact me and discuss your case. I have successfully handled many federal criminal defense cases over the years and feel confident that once you meet with me, you will be convinced that I have the know how and legal abilities to help you.

How to Get a Short Sentence in Federal Criminal Case

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...

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Factors That Cause Long Prison Sentences in a Federal Case

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...

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Are Federal Courts in Los Angeles Open During the Coronavirus?

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...

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Who Decides Your Sentence in a Federal Criminal Case?

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...

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Do You Have to Personally Appear in Federal Criminal Court?

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...

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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Fraud Cases

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....

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Traits the Best Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Have in Common

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...

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Role of Federal Sentencing Guidelines in a Criminal Case

Sentencing guidelines in federal cases across the nation, in my opinion, having done this for 27 years, basically act as a guideline for the judge, the prosecutor and the defense in how and what sentence a criminal defendant will receive in a federal case. What I mean by that is, it is undisputed that the judge has the ability to go outside the guidelines when sentencing a criminal defendant.  It’s also undisputed that the prosecution and the defense can request sentences outside the guidelines. Seeking a Lower Federal Sentence In fact, it’s common for defense attorneys to try to get...

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Why Hire a Lawyer Before a Federal Case Has Been Filed?

What is the Benefit of Hiring a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Before the Case is Filed? A lot of people get wind that they’re being investigated and instead of getting to an attorney right away hiring them pre-filing, they just bury their head in the sand and hope for the best. They don’t want to fork-out the money.  They figure, if I hire an attorney then they’re going to think that I’m guilty.  All of these things are just short-sided thinking, and arguably, the reason you got yourself in this problem in the first place. Criminal Investigation By Federal Law Enforcement...

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How Bail Works in a Federal Criminal Case

This bail issue comes up all the time, and unfortunately, people are so zeroed in on it, they forget about the fact they actually have a federal criminal case pending against them. Regardless of whether they or their loved one gets out on federal bail, that case is not going away.  Depending on how serious it is, the person is likely to get some federal time anyway. So, the whole bail issue a lot of times, not always, is a sidetrack issue that really doesn’t allow the person to grapple with what they have to related to their federal criminal...

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