No Strong-Arming of Defendants Into Accepting Pleas

January 31, 2014 Opinions/Cases

When the two defendants opted for trial, rejecting a deferred sentencing agreement that had been offered by the government, Judge Brian Holeman may have been doing them a favor when he warned them that they would face certain jail-time if convicted.  After all, that is exactly what happened. At the same time, as the D.C. […]

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Let Me Talk To The Judge

December 4, 2013 Criminal Procedure

Whenever a group of defendants are lined up before the court to do misdemeanor guilty pleas, one or two will often try to back out at the last minute. If the defendant is quibbling with something the prosecutor has just read from the police report, the parties can usually find common ground on facts that […]

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And Sometimes You Go To Jail

November 9, 2013 Sentencing

Your client is released from jail after serving his sentence, and texts you on his way home.  You were defense counsel in the case that sent him there. You both knew after the conviction but before sentencing that he would be serving some jail-time. Your client had plenty of time to get his affairs in […]

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No More Weekends in DUI Cases

September 24, 2013 DUI and Driving Offenses

Always looking out for the best interests of clients, Michael Bruckheim has come up with a creative way for getting around the new requirement in D.C. that mandatory days of incarceration in DUI cases be served back-to-back. According to the new law that took effect in August 2012, second-time DUI offenders who are sentenced to […]

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Clark v. U.S.: The Government’s Violation of a Plea Agreement

July 9, 2012 Criminal Procedure

The defendant is charged with armed robbery.  He and the government reach agreement on a plea deal in which the government agrees to ask for no more than 10 years of incarceration. In a memorandum submitted to the judge before sentencing, the government then violates that agreement by asking the judge to impose 20 years. […]

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Being Found Guilty After Pleading Guilty

December 8, 2011 Criminal Procedure

If you plead guilty, there is a 100% chance that you will be found guilty. Or something like that. I read that on the Internet a few weeks ago and, while I can’t remember who said it for attribution, I had the opportunity to use this clever little phrase just the other day. It is […]

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On Compensating A Wrongfully Detained Defendant

August 27, 2011 Criminal Procedure

“My client had been held on no bond in the county jail for 25 months. Never once bitched about being in there or tried to rush me.” So says Chicago criminal defense lawyer Marcus Schantz on Twitter. A defendant is given credit for the time he spends in custody awaiting trial for the offense that […]

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On the Defendant’s Acceptance of Responsibility at Sentencing

April 15, 2011 Criminal Procedure

Earlier this week, I caught the tail-end of a DWI trial in which Michael Bruckheim was representing the defendant. Bruckheim had attended portions of my last DWI trial in D.C., and I decided to repay the favor. I wanted to see him cross examine the same police officer who had testified in my case. And, […]

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