Technically, There Are More Than Two Ways...

From Ron Chapman’s new blog/website, “Federal Criminal Lawyer – Frequently Asked Questions”, comes this post titled in the form of a question, “How Can You Avoid a Minimum Mandatory Sentence in Federal Court?”:

In federal court, there are only two ways to avoid such a sentence:

1. Safety valve; and
2. Cooperation.

He then discusses how § 3553 (f) and (e) respectively allow for sentences under a mandatory minimum.

In fairness, I’m (a) being a smart ass, and (b) his post probably assumes without saying that we are in 3553-land to begin with.

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shg - December 19, 2009 5:43 AM

What first caught my eye was why Ron Coleman, an IP lawyer, would be writing about federal criminal law. As it happens, it's not Coleman but Chapman. Whew. If Coleman gave an answer like this, I would have to make fun of him for a very long time.

What a shame he left out the number one answer for most criminal defense lawyers: Win the case. Apparently, that answer doesn't apply to anyone represented by Chapman.

Jamie - December 20, 2009 9:17 AM

Ooops - changed Coleman to Chapman.

I actually "know" Chapman in that bloggy kind of way of knowing that sometimes develops over time.

I also know he tries (and wins) cases, just giving him some good natured ribbing really.

I didn't spell it out intially - other than to say the question may assume 3553 to start off with - but there are two ways of reading the post.

If it's "When you've been charged/accused of fill-in-the-blank" then there are more than 2 ways. In fact there are more than 3 - charge bargaining for example. (N.B. Not having committed the crime is not necessarily one of the "ways".)

If it's "After being convicted of fill-in-the-blank" that's a different story. Since the post is vague - doesn't provide us with which scenario is being discussed - it left it open for my smart ass commentary. But I imagine he meant "after conviction..."

Jamie - December 20, 2009 9:18 AM

Also, Coleman/Chapman - what can I say? The post was written after 10 p.m., and fueled in part by some Friday night libations...

Windypundit - December 20, 2009 12:43 PM

BWI? You're just lucky that's not a crime...yet...I mean, think of the children!

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