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Federal Conspiracy Charges

In addition to the typical underlying federal offenses (i.e. drug trafficking), a conspiracy is similarly subject to federal prosecution as a separate offense. Conspiracy charges can carry significant penalties, so if you are charged with a conspiracy, it is important to retain an attorney experienced in handling these matters. What is a Conspiracy? A conspiracy […]

United States Sentencing Guidelines & Departures

Sentencing Guidelines In a prior blog we discussed The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, and the resultant Guidelines Manual. In short, the Guidelines Manual is used to calculate the potential prison term for a criminal defendant by calculating an Offense Level (using a Baseline Offense Level and Offense Specific Factors) and comparing it with the specific defendant’s “Criminal History Category” […]

Sentencing in Federal Court: United States Sentencing Guidelines

In response to perceived sentencing disparities across the county, Congress enacted the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (“SRA”), which establishes a new sentencing scheme based on “guidelines.” These guidelines are found in the Guidelines Manual. The SRA created the United States Sentencing Commission, which is tasked with creating and regularly amending the guidelines and issuing reports […]

Bail and Pretrial Release in Federal Cases

What is Bail or Pretrial Release? After a person is arrested, he or she is detained and held in jail. Pretrial release, or bail, is the release of the individual until the resolution of the underlying case.  Detention Hearings A detention hearing may happen very quickly after arrest, even as soon as the defendant’s initial […]

Overview of Federal Drug Crimes

Drug offenses can be prosecuted at either the state or federal level. Drug crimes may be prosecuted at the federal level if they involve activity across state lines or have some sort of interstate (multi-state) impact. The federal system is much more complex than state criminal justice systems. Generally, prosecutors at the federal level are […]

Overview of a Federal Prosecution

This blog provides a broad overview of the progress of a federal prosecution. Of course, there are several factors that may determine how quickly a case moves and/or if/when a case will reach a particular point in the general process (i.e. early pleas, multiple motions to review detention orders, pre-trial motions, etc.). Initial Hearing/Arraignment Felony […]

Damages in Section 1983 Claims

As discussed in prior blogs, Section 1983 is the most often used vehicle to bring civil rights claims against government officials. Section 1983 allows an individual to bring a claim for money damages against government officials who violate their constitutional rights. Assuming the plaintiff is able to overcome all the hurdles required to get their […]

Qualified Immunity and “Clearly Established” Rights

State and local government officials can be sued for money damages in their individual capacity if they violate a person’s constitutional rights. 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides the statutory vehicle for suing state actors acting under the color of state law. When an official acting under the color of federal law is involved, a plaintiff […]