Posts by Brandon Sample

Reexamining Federal Supervised Release Conditions

Federal Supervised Release

What happens when a federal district court imposes a seemingly draconian or arbitrary condition on a defendant’s federal supervised release? Is this condition allowed to stand? The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue in United States v. Mears and provided a necessary refresher on the requirement that any federal supervised release conditions…

Continue Reading Reexamining Federal Supervised Release Conditions

Sentencing for Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration Requirements

Sex Offender Registration

The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal district court’s sentencing enhancement for a defendant who served time in prison for coercion and enticement of a minor and failed to update his personal information as a registered sex offender during his term of supervised release. This article details those sex offender registration requirements and…

Continue Reading Sentencing for Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration Requirements

Judge Interferes with Plea Negotiations

Plea Negotiations, Plea Deal

Federal criminal defendants are entitled to enter into plea agreement negotiations with prosecutors. It is a long-standing rule that federal district court judges are not to take any part in the plea negotiations between the defendant and the prosecution. In United States v. Iazzetta, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a defendant’s restitution order because…

Continue Reading Judge Interferes with Plea Negotiations

Defining Burglary Under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA)

Armed Career Criminal Act, ACCA

The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) applies a specific set of sentencing provisions to convicted felons who use a firearm in the commission of a crime with a prior record of violent offenses. In United States v. Stitt, the Supreme Court recently addressed the question of what exactly constitutes a burglary for purposes of determining…

Continue Reading Defining Burglary Under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA)

What Is the Possible Sentencing for Conspiracy?

Sentencing For Conspiracy

We hear the term conspiracy all the time. Rarely is there a crime drama where a conspiracy charge isn’t filed or threatened; or where there is sentencing for conspiracy. In fact, recently the Democratic National Committee filed a lawsuit alleging that the Trump presidential campaign, Russia, Wikileaks, and Trump’s son and son-in-law engaged in a…

Continue Reading What Is the Possible Sentencing for Conspiracy?

Supervised Release Term Appeal Potentially Goes Awry

Supervised Release Term

One of the key strategic decisions in deciding whether to appeal a criminal sentence is whether there is a possibility to receive an even harsher sentence. In the case of United States v. Lopez-Pastrana, the First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a supervised release term that was imposed on a defendant who was not actually sentenced…

Continue Reading Supervised Release Term Appeal Potentially Goes Awry

The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018

Child Pornography

What is the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018? President Trump recently signed into law the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018 (“AVAA”). The AVAA is named after some of the victims of child pornography who were among the most widely disseminated images identified by…

Continue Reading The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018