Federal Criminal Restitution, amount of a restitution order

Challenging Federal Criminal Restitution Orders for Tax-Related Crimes

By Brandon Sample | January 6, 2019

Convictions for crimes involving fraud, embezzlement or theft typically result in the defendants having to pay some amount of money in federal criminal restitution upon sentencing. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the imposition of a federal criminal restitution order in United States v. Johnson over the objections of a defendant who argued…

Sentencing Meaning

Sentencing Meaning: What Does All The Jargon Mean?

By Brandon Sample | January 5, 2019

One thing about any particular industry, field of study, business, or technology is that the area seems to have its own language. The computer world, for example, seems to have a completely foreign language involving RAM, gigabytes, memory sticks, and USB ports. And what about Twitter? Does anyone remember the times when we had a…

Federal Supervised Release

Reexamining Federal Supervised Release Conditions

By Brandon Sample | January 4, 2019

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…

Traffic Stop, Criminal History, Sentencing Guidelines

Is a Traffic Stop an Arrest for Sentencing Purposes?

By Brandon Sample | January 3, 2019

The federal sentencing guidelines require that a court examine the criminal history of a defendant when he is being sentenced. The more offenses that a defendant accumulates, the higher the category for criminal history he falls into. The higher the category, the longer the minimum sentence that must be imposed. The Third Circuit Court of…

Sex Offender Registration

Sentencing for Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration Requirements

By Brandon Sample | January 2, 2019

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…

Plea Negotiations, Plea Deal

Judge Interferes with Plea Negotiations

By Brandon Sample | January 1, 2019

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…

Armed Career Criminal Act, ACCA

Defining Burglary Under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA)

By Brandon Sample | December 31, 2018

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…

Sentencing For Conspiracy

What Is the Possible Sentencing for Conspiracy?

By Brandon Sample | December 30, 2018

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…

Appeal Waiver

Requirement of Consideration for Appeal Waivers

By Brandon Sample | December 29, 2018

Plea deals may seem like the most opportune way for a criminal defendant to avoid having to serve the maximum sentence that he could receive for his offenses. However, the government typically has the upper hand in this situation and requires that the defendant relinquish his right to appeal the sentence. In United States v.…

Fair Sentencing Act

Fair Sentencing Act of 2010: Retroactivity FAQs

By Brandon Sample | December 28, 2018

With the passage of the First Step Act of 2018, there’s a whole lot of people, both in and out of prison, that have kicked their hustle game into high gear. But this can be very dangerous, particularly when the individual giving “advice” does not know what they are talking about. That is on top…