A new Federal Crime of Theft of Pre-Retail Medical Products extends the wiretapping authority of the Federal Government while issuing a directive to the Sentencing Commission to amend the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to comply with the law, if necessary. The United States Senate passed the new crime bill after the House and is expected to become law when President Obama signs it (as he is expected to do).
|Water then Wiretap iPhone.
The Federal Guideline Sentencing Commission supplies summaries of criminal laws and interprets new federal criminal statutes from Congress because it is charged with implementing the sentencing standards enumerated within the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Federal Courts. New federal criminal laws often require amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to keep the Guidelines relevant, up to date and even more confusing for Criminal Defense Lawyers in Clearwater who use the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to make unique, strong and effective sentencing arguments in Federal Court in Tampa, Florida.
It’s not unusual for the new criminal law to extend the wiretapping authority so that law enforcement will be able to investigate any violations. The wiretapping authority ultimately rests with Judges who must make a finding of probable cause that a crime may have been committed by signing warrants with sworn affidavits from federal law enforcement officers who seek the wiretap. But the ever increasing number of activities which are defined as crime will inevitably increase the number of approved wiretaps at the expense of privacy.
The new federal Pre-retail Medical Product Theft law as passed by Congress will become binding law once the President signs it. It will expand current criminal federal law in Medical Theft cases in the Middle District of Florida in Tampa because it applies to “…a medical product that has not yet been made available for retail purchase by a consumer…” defining medical product as “…a drug, biological product, device, medical food or infant formula.”
If you have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Tampa in the Middle District of Florida or are being investigated for federal criminal charges call a Clearwater Criminal Attorney as soon as possible for advice, help and defense guidance.
The United States Sentencing Commission just finished an extensive study on the effects of Mandatory Minimum sentences in federal sentencing which it has just sent to the U.S. Congress.
You’ll find some excellent recommendations that Congress should immediately adopt such as reducing Mandatory Minimum sentences, giving Judges more discretion in sentencing, reducing Prosecutorial power, enlarging the safety valve for more than just first time offenders, making the guidelines fairer and reducing demographic and racial disparity in sentencing – all of which would provide your Federal Criminal Trial Attorney with some reason to believe that sentencing under the Federal Guidelines really could become fair and impartial.
Below is a brief summary from Amy Baron Evans (many thanks) of Chapter 12 (the Recommendations). You can access the entire study from the link below.
Drugs · “Commission analysis indicates that the quantity of drugs involved in an offense is not as closely related to the offender’s function in the offense as perhaps Congress expected.” “[O]ffenders who performed lower-level functions such as Couriers and Mules also were convicted of drug offenses carrying a mandatory minimum penalty in a significant proportion of their cases (49.6% and 43.1%, respectively). For every function, the quantity of drugs involved in the offense on average resulted in a median base offense level that included or exceeded the five-year mandatory minimum penalty.” But, USSC suggests, safety valve and role adjustments correct for the problem on average.
· Criminal history in drug cases – the “cumulative impacts”
of 851, the CH score, and the unavailability of safety valve relief “can result in disproportionate and excessively severe sentences in certain cases.”
FAMM – The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
Stacking 924(c)s “results in excessively severe and unjust sentences in
some cases.” Average sent5ence was 351 months! “There are some circumstances where such a long sentence may be appropriate (e.g., in the eight cases in fiscal year 2010 in which the offender’s primary guideline was §2A1.1, which covers first degree murder), but there are other circumstances in which the offender received such a long sentence even though the offense did not involve any physical harm or threat of physical harm to a person.”
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing | Drug War Facts
ACCA: Applied inconsistently in part because whether an offense is a
“violent felony” or “serious drug offense” depends on the stat max in the convicting state (one year or 10 years, respectively). “As a result, the Armed Career Criminal Act’s mandatory minimum penalty can apply to offenders who served no or minimal terms of imprisonment for their predicate offenses, further increasing the potential for inconsistent application insofar as the penalty may be viewed as excessively severe in those cases.” Recommendations:
· Reduce the penalties for 924(c)s, especially stacked 924 (c)s
· Make 924(c) a true “recidivist” statute by limiting to prior convictions
· Give the court limited discretion to impose consecutive sentences for multiple 924(c)s as in 1028A
USSC will study further and make recommendations later, but “preliminary
review of the available sentencing data suggests that the mandatory minimum penalties for certain child pornography offenses and the resulting guidelines sentencing ranges may be excessively severe and as a result are being applied inconsistently.” The data is non-gov sponsored variances, gov-sponsored variances, and failure to charge the mand min in 53% of cases where it’s available.
Aggravated Identity Theft
USSC likes this better than other MMs because (1) the two-year consecutive
penalty is relatively short, (2) the court has discretion to impose sentences for multiple violations concurrently, (3) there is no stacking provision, and (4) it does not depend on CH or weapons, which creates demographic disparity under other MMs. There is inter-district disparity in the use of 1028A but this may be because it’s new, and in any event, the punishment is relatively short.
Safety valve in general
Congress should consider whether to enact safety valve for low-level,
non-violent offenders convicted of other offenses.
This recent painting depicts a beaming French Poodle who sits centre stage as the wise Judge at Court. That’s an adoring bailiff at the judge’s left paw staring at the Judge with appropriate admiration and respect. I’m the bright black Labrador to the Judge’s right with an Important Brief that I’ve dipped in beef broth in hopes of the Judge devouring my every word.
|Trial by Jury or Laying Down the Law by Sir Edwin Landseer, 1840
|The painting was inspired by a chance comment by an infamous Tampa Bay Judge, over dinner with the painter Sir Edwin Landseer, that the French poodle belonging to amateur artist and renowned socialite, the Count d’Orsay of Clearwater Beach, Florida “would make a capital Lord Chancellor (Chief Judge in England).”
Many thanks to Amy Baron-Evans for this unique argument at federal sentencing for clients showing the court the effects of disparity of sentences for similar acts and there respective recidivism rates. As defense lawyers in the Middle District of Florida are aware these arguments typically are met with indifference by our local Judges; however, its great to throw in as an additional point where a Judge is leaning in your direction anyway and is searching for any reason to reduce the sentence – say, within the framework of the personal characteristics of your client:
The Commission’s Fifteen Year Review reports that the recidivism rate of defendants sentenced as career offenders based on prior drug offenses “more closely resembles” the recidivism rate for offenders in the otherwise applicable criminal history category. See U.S. Sent’g Comm’n, Fifteen Years of Guidelines Sentencing: An Assessment of How Well the Federal Criminal Justice System is Achieving the Goals of Sentencing Reform 133-34 (2004). I just noticed this Table 14 in the Commission’s 2010 Sourcebook. You can find this at the following place —— ——— ——–http://www.ussc.gov/Data_and_Statistics/Annual_Reports_and_Sourcebooks/2010/Table14.pdf Using it, you could argue that the average sentence for a drug trafficker sentenced as a career offender is 167 months, but for a defendant in criminal history IV, for example, it’s 98.3 months, or 60% of the career offender sentence. Or, for example, if your client’s instant offense is robbery but he is a career offender based on drug priors, the average sentence for a robber sentenced as a career offender is 156.3 months but for a defendant in criminal history IV, it’s 71.5 months, or 45% of the career offender sentence. There are lots of ways you could use this table in career offender and other cases. It shows average sentence length for primary offenses by criminal history category.