Federal Criminal News

NEW JERSEY FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW: IN SENTENCING GUIDELINE DECISION, UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT REVIEWS UPWARD ADJUSTMENT FOR ABUSE OF A POSITION OF TRUST

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

Recently, in United States v. Ashokkumar, a federal criminal case involving a doctor who accepted illegal kickbacks, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a physician was subject to a two-level adjustment for abuse of a position of trust pursuant to United States Sentencing Guideline §3B1.3. This decision is applicable to the federal criminal trial courts of New Jersey.

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NEW JERSEY FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW: THE UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION ISSUES PROPOSED SENTENCING GUIDELINE AMENDMENTS, INCLUDING REVISIONS TO FEDERAL CRIMINAL SENTENCING GUIDELINE GOVERNING FRAUD

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

On January 9, 2015 the United States Sentencing Commission published the proposed federal criminal Sentencing Guideline Amendments, including revisions to the sentencing guideline governing fraud. The proposed amendments are summarized here:

Guideline §2B1.1 governing fraud offenses may be amended by clarifying the definition of “intended loss,” which contributes to the degree of punishment, and the enhancement for the use of sophisticated means in a fraud offense. The proposed amendment also revises the guideline to better consider the degree of harm to victims, rather than just the number of victims, and includes a modified, simpler approach to “fraud on the market” offenses which involve manipulation of the value of stocks.

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NJ FEDERAL COURT CRIMINAL SENTENCING: THIRD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RULES THAT ENFORCEMENT OF PLEA AGREEMENTS SUBJECT TO BASIC CONTRACT PRINCIPLES; DECISION IS APPLICABLE TO UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

United States v. Davenport, a recent federal sentencing decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, held that the Government did not breach the terms of a defendant’s plea agreement by arguing for a two-level enhancement under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The Court analyzed the facts of the case using basic contract principles. This ruling applies to all United States District Courts in New Jersey.

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Combating False Confessions in the NJ State and Federal Criminal Courts

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

With the recent release of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of coercive techniques in interrogation, false confessions are again in the news. The experienced criminal defense attorneys of Schwartz & Posnock have successfully defended individuals who falsely confessed to crimes they did not commit.

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Federal Criminal Defense Study Exposes Failure of US Prosecutors to Disclose Evidence Favorable to Criminal Defendants

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

Recently, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”) released their latest report, “Material Indifference: How Courts Are Impeding Fair Disclosure in Criminal Cases,” written in conjunction with the VERITAS Initiative at Santa Clara Law School.

This study illustrates a significant problem facing both state and federal criminal prosecutions; i.e., the endemic failure to ensure that information favorable to a criminal defendant is provided by prosecutors in an open and timely manner, resulting in a denial of a fair trial.

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Federal Criminal Law Update: The United States Sentencing Commission Announces Priorities for the Coming Year, Including Consideration of Federal Sentences for Economic Crimes and Mandatory Minimum Penalties

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

In a recent press release, the United States Sentencing Commission set as its top priority continuing to work with Congress to implement the recommendations in its 2011 report on federal mandatory minimum penalties, which included recommendations that Congress reduce the severity and scope of some mandatory minimum penalties and consider expanding the “safety valve” statute which exempts certain low-level non-violent offenders from mandatory minimum penalties.

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Federal Sentencing News: The United States Circuit Court for the Third Circuit Rules that New Jersey Federal Criminal Lawyers Must Make All Procedural Objections to a Sentence at the Time of Sentencing or the Objection Is Waived

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

In an en banc precedential ruling, the United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit held that procedural error at sentencing is preserved only if a party objects after sentence is imposed or at the time that the procedural error becomes evident. This ruling is binding on federal criminal lawyers who practice in New Jersey.  The Circuit Court, in United States v. Flores-Mejia, adopted this new rule for several reasons:

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Federal Criminal Defense: Plea Agreements Increasingly Require Civil Forfeiture in Federal Criminal Cases in the District of New Jersey

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

If “orange is the new black,” then it looks like civil forfeiture is becoming the new method of forcing a defendant to make restitution in a federal criminal case. Lately, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey has been incorporating a civil forfeiture component into plea agreements, particularly when government funds are the subject of an accused’s alleged criminal conduct.

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Substantial Interference in a New Jersey Federal Criminal Investigation Will Lead to Sentencing Enhancements

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

In United States v. Waterman, a federal criminal case decided on June 17, 2014, the defendant challenged the sentence imposed upon him after being convicted of destruction of records, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1519.

The defendant, a police officer, destroyed a computer hard drive during an FBI investigation into his alleged possession of child pornography. The investigation began when the defendant informed his supervisor that he had viewed child pornography on his personal home computer. Two years after this disclosure, the defendant tried to destroy one of his personal computers. As noted by the court, the defendant merely destroyed the circuit board of the computer,  not the data platters which contained the information on the hard drive. However, because the damage to the circuit board was so great, the data could not be retrieved.

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Schwartz & Posnock, New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers: Sentencing on a Federal Criminal Charge – An Introduction to the Process

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

Individuals who are charged with a federal criminal offense are often unfamiliar with the federal sentencing process. Federal court sentencing bears very little resemblance to sentencing in State court. We offer this series of blogs to give potential clients some basic information about federal court sentencing.

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