Category Archives: Uncategorized

Judgment of Aquittal Standard

What is the standard of review when a motion for judgment of aquittal is denied?

A motion for judgment of acquittal should be granted only when it is apparent that no legally sufficient evidence has been submitted under which a jury could find a verdict of guilty.” Meme v. State, 72 So. 3d 254, 256 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011) (citing Toole v. State, 472 So. 2d 1174 (Fla. 1985)).

The standard of review on a motion for judgment of acquittal is de novo. Pagan v. State, 830 So. 2d 792, 803 (Fla. 2002).

Generally, an appellate court will not reverse a conviction which is supported by competent, substantial evidence

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Downward Departure Sentence Appeals

The Fourth DCA has receded from their prior decisions in Jorquera v. State, 868 So. 2d 1250 (Fla. 4th
DCA 2004) and Marshall v. State, 978 So. 2d 279 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008), where they declined review of a trial courts’ discretionary decisions to deny downward departure sentences. In JOHN HENRY FOGARTY, Appellant, v.  STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee, No. 4D13-3157, decided December 17, 2014, they held that such determinations are appealable under the process enunciated in Banks v. State, 732 So. 2d 1065 (Fla. 1999).

In Jorquera, the 4th DCA court held that section 924.06(1), Florida Statutes, allowed appeals from illegal sentences, but did not give the appellate courts jurisdiction to review a trial court decision to deny a downward departure. Jorquera, 868 So. 2d at 1253. They cited Patterson v. State, 796 So. 2d 572, 574 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001), review denied, 817 So. 2d 849 (Fla. 2002), which reached the same conclusion. Their decision in Marshall dismissed an appeal of the denial of a downward departure sentence, citing to Jorquera. Marshall, 978 So. 2d at 280.

However, in Barnhill v. State, 140 So. 3d 1055 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014), the Second District receded from Patterson after determining that subsequent decisions from the supreme court could not be reconciled with Patterson’s holding. That court concluded that both case law and Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140 had expanded appeals to both illegal and unlawful sentences. Id. at 1059-60. Specifically, it pointed to Banks v. State, 732 So. 2d 1065 (Fla. 1999), in which the supreme court outlined the procedure for both the trial court consideration of a departure sentence and the standard of review on appeal. The supreme court said:

” A trial court’s decision whether to depart from the guidelines is a two-part process. First, the court must determine whether it can depart, i.e., whether there is a valid legal ground and adequate factual support for that ground in the case pending before it (step 1). Legal grounds are set forth in case law and statute, and facts supporting the ground must be proved at trial by “a preponderance of the evidence.” This aspect of the court’s decision to depart is a mixed question of law and fact and will be sustained on review if the court applied the right rule of law and if competent substantial evidence supports its ruling. ”

Second, where the step 1 requirements are met, the trial court further must determine whether it should depart, i.e., whether departure is indeed the best sentencing option for the defendant in the pending case.

In making this determination (step 2), the trial court must weigh the totality of the circumstances in the case, including aggravating and mitigating factors. This second aspect of the decision to depart is a judgment call within the sound discretion of the court and will be sustained on review absent an abuse of discretion. Discretion is abused only where no reasonable person would agree with the trial court.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

  KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

Aggressive and Effective Legal Representation for Divorce, Child Custody and Federal and State Criminal Defense!

Serving Broward, Dade and Palm Beach Counties

“Since 1991 – When Experience Counts” 

“FULL SERVICE LAW FIRM”

Payment Plans Available

FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION

Law Office

of

Edward J. Chandler, P.A.

708 East Atlantic Blvd.

Pompano Beach, Fl 33060


Tel: (954) 788-1355
Fax (954) 788-1357

 

When your future is on the line…Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A.  at (954) 788-1355  24/7 immediately! Your phone consultation is free and completely confidential.


         My goal is to represent my clients as I would want to be represented, always putting their interests first, diligently working to fully understand and serve the clients’ needs. In short, to do whatever it takes for the successful resolution of the
clients’ causes.

         If you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense, you need to seek the advice of Edward J. Chandler, Esq., an experienced Florida Federal and State criminal defense attorney since 1991! Right now, you may be filled with fear, confusion, embarrassment, and anger. You probably have a thousand questions and want to know your rights and how to proceed. With your future as stake, you need to think smart and speak with an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Since a criminal conviction may affect your future, your reputation and your chances of getting a job, it is critical that you seek out an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney such as Edward J, Chandler, as soon as you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense. The right Florida criminal defense lawyer can evaluate your case, determine legal strategies, and defend you in court, increasing your likelihood of staying out of jail and protecting your future.

Given the complexity of criminal defense in Florida, it is important that you choose a Florida criminal defense lawyer that knows the Federal and State systems, and who combines experience with a track record, and who has a thorough understanding and familiarity with the law, the prosecutors and the local courts. If you have been accused of a crime, your time to get the right experienced Federal or State criminal defense attorney is limited. Regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty, you deserve aggressive, experienced legal representation.

Violating the laws in Florida can result in harsh punishments, such as incarceration and fines. However, being charged with a Federal or State criminal offense does not have to devastate your entire life.  Edward J. Chandler, Esq, is here to ensure that you get your life back, your peace of mind and your freedom. “I employ an aggressive defense, often convincing the prosecution to reduce the charges against you or, in some cases, dismissing them. My sole priority is to achieve a resolution that you can live with.”

Attorney Edward J. Chandler has successfully represented numerous clients charged with criminal offenses throughout the State of Florida.  Edward J. Chandler  prides himself on aggressive representation with a personal touch. Armed with Federal and State legal knowledge and experience, he can build a winning defense. Edward J. Chandler, Esq. is accustomed to taking on the criminal justice system and achieving the best results for his clients. In addition to personally handling your case from investigation, arrest, bond hearing, arraignment, discovery and through jury trial, Edward J. Chandler, Esq. will be available to you during every step of the criminal procedure. Edward J. Chandler guarantees that you and your case will receive his undivided attention.

When your future is on the line…Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A.  at (954) 788-1355  24/7 immediately! Your phone consultation is free and completely confidential.

Professional Organizations:

   * Florida Bar since 1991
* Broward County Bar Association
* Association of Trial Lawyers of America -ATLA
* Federal Bar
* Federal Court -Southern and Middle Districts of Florida
* Supreme Court of United States
* 4th District Court of  Appeals
* 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
* United States Tax Court

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UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION GUIDELINES

Welcome to the 

Law Offices 
of 
Edward J. Chandler, P.A.

708 East Atlantic Boulevard    Telephone:  (954) 788-1355
Pompano Beach, Fl 33060    Facsimile:  (954) 788-1357
Call Today! 24/7 “FROM ARREST TO TRIAL “
UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION GUIDELINES MANUAL
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
CHAPTER ONE – Authority and General Application Principles . .. . . . . . . 1

Part A-Authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . 1
Part B-General Application Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

CHAPTER TWO – Offense Conduct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Part A-Offenses Against the Person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .       45
1. Homicide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      . . 45
2. Assault . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     . . 48
3. Criminal Sexual Abuse and Offenses Related to
Registration as a Sex Offender . . . . . . . .                                                   54
4. Kidnapping, Abduction, or Unlawful Restraint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    . 67
5. Air Piracy and Offenses Against Mass Transportation Systems . . . . .  . . 70
6. Threatening or Harassing Communications,
Hoaxes, Stalking, and Domestic Violence . .                                              . 72
Part B-Basic Economic Offenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
1. Theft, Embezzlement, Receipt of Stolen Property, Property Destruction, and
Offenses Involving Fraud or Deceit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
2. Burglary and Trespass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 104
3. Robbery, Extortion, and Blackmail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107
4. Commercial Bribery and Kickbacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
5. Counterfeiting and Infringement of Copyright or Trademark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
6. Motor Vehicle Identification Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122
Part C-Offenses Involving Public Officials and Violations
of Federal Election Campaign Laws . .                                                                 124
Part D-Offenses Involving Drugs And Narco-Terrorism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
1. Unlawful Manufacturing, Importing, Exporting, Trafficking, or Possession;
Continuing Criminal Enterprise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
2. Unlawful Possession . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 181
3. Regulatory Violations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . 183
Part E-Offenses Involving Criminal Enterprises and Racketeering . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
1. Racketeering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . 185
2. Extortionate Extension of Credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
3. Gambling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 189
4. Trafficking in Contraband Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco . . . . . . . . . .  . . 190
5. Labor Racketeering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Part F-[Deleted] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . 195
Part G-Offenses Involving Commercial Sex Acts, Sexual Exploitation of Minors,
and Obscenity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
1. Promoting A Commercial Sex Act or Prohibited Sexual Conduct . . . . . . . . . 196
2. Sexual Exploitation of a Minor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 203
3. Obscenity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
Part H-Offenses Involving Individual Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
1. Civil Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
2. Political Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . 219
3. Privacy and Eavesdropping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 220
4. Peonage, Involuntary Servitude, and Slave Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Part J-Offenses Involving the Administration of Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
Part K-Offenses Involving Public Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  234
1. Explosives and Arson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  234
2. Firearms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  241
3. Mailing Injurious Articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254
Part L-Offenses Involving Immigration, Naturalization, and Passports . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255
1. Immigration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  255
2. Naturalization and Passports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 261
Part M-Offenses Involving National Defense and Weapons of Mass Destruction . . . . . 266
1. Treason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
2. Sabotage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
3. Espionage and Related Offenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  267
4. Evasion of Military Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  272
5. Prohibited Financial Transactions and Exports, and Providing Material Support
to Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272
6. Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons and Materials, and Other Weapons
of Mass Destruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 276
Part N-Offenses Involving Food, Drugs, Agricultural Products, and Odometer Laws . 280
1. Tampering with Consumer Products . . . . . . .  . . . . . .. . . . . . 280
2. Food, Drugs, and Agricultural Products . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 282
3. Odometer Laws and Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
Part O-[Not Used]
Part P-Offenses Involving Prisons and Correctional Facilities .. . 284
Part Q-Offenses Involving the Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288
1. Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288
2. Conservation and Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 295
Part R-Antitrust Offenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298
Part S-Money Laundering and Monetary Transaction Reporting .. . . 302
Part T-Offenses Involving Taxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . 308
1. Income Taxes, Employment Taxes, Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes,
and Excise Taxes (Other Than Alcohol, Tobacco, and Customs Taxes) .  308
2. Alcohol and Tobacco Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . 317
3. Customs Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  318
4. Tax Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  320
Part U-[Not Used]
Part V-[Not Used]
Part W-[Not Used]
Part X-Other Offenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 321
1. Conspiracies, Attempts, Solicitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  321
2. Aiding and Abetting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .324
3. Accessory After the Fact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  324
4. Misprision of Felony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 326
5. All Other Felony Offenses and Class A Misdemeanors . . . . . . . .  326
6. Offenses Involving Use of a Minor in a Crime of Violence . . . . . . 328
7. Offenses Involving Border Tunnels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  329
Part Y-[Not Used]Part Z-[Not Used]
CHAPTER THREE – Adjustments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
Part A-Victim-Related Adjustments . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
Part B-Role in the Offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
Part C-Obstruction and Related Adjustments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343
Part D-Multiple Counts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348
Part E-Acceptance of Responsibility . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361
CHAPTER FOUR – Criminal History and Criminal Livelihood . . . 364
Part A-Criminal History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . 364
Part B-Career Offenders and Criminal Livelihood . . . . . . . . . . . . 380
CHAPTER FIVE – Determining the Sentence . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 391
Part A-Sentencing Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392
Part B-Probation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 394
Part C-Imprisonment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 403
Part D-Supervised Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409
Part E-Restitution, Fines, Assessments, Forfeitures . . . . . . . . . .. 418
Part F-Sentencing Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 426
Part G-Implementing the Total Sentence of Imprisonment . . . . . 432
Part H-Specific Offender Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  440
Part I-[Not Used]
Part J-Relief From Disability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  445
Part K-Departures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  446
1. Substantial Assistance to Authorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  446
2. Other Grounds for Departure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  447
3. Early Disposition Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 464
CHAPTER SIX – Sentencing Procedures, Plea
Agreements, and Crime Victims’ Rights . .                           . . 465
Part A-Sentencing Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . 465
Part B-Plea Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469
CHAPTER SEVEN – Violations of Probation and Supervised Release . . . 474
Part A-Introduction to Chapter Seven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  474
1. Authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 474
2. Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 474
3. Resolution of Major Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  475
4. The Basic Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .477
5. A Concluding Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 477
Part B-Probation and Supervised Release Violations . . . . . . . . 479
CHAPTER EIGHT – Sentencing of Organizations . . . . . . . . . . 487
Part A-General Application Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 488
Part B-Remedying Harm from Criminal Conduct, and Effective Compliance
and Ethics Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 492
1. Remedying Harm from Criminal Conduct . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . 492
2. Effective Compliance and Ethics Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 495
Part C-Fines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  501
1. Determining the Fine – Criminal Purpose Organizations . . . .. 501
2. Determining the Fine – Other Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 501
3. Implementing the Sentence of a Fine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  517
4. Departures from the Guideline Fine Range . . . . . . . . . . . . .520
Part D-Organizational Probation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . .. 524
Part E-Special Assessments, Forfeitures, and Costs . . . . . .  529
Part F-Violations of Probation – Organizations . . . . . . . . . . 531
APPENDIX A – Statutory Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 532
APPENDIX B – Selected Sentencing Statutes . . . . . . . ..  555
INDEX TO GUIDELINES MANUAL . . . . . . . . . . . .  . .662
SUPPLEMENTARY VOLUMES
APPENDIX C (Volume I) – Amendments to the Guidelines Manual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
(effective November 1, 1997, and earlier)
APPENDIX C (Volume II) – Amendments to the Guidelines Manual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
(effective November 1, 1998, through November 5, 2003)
SUPPLEMENT to APPENDIX C – Amendments to the Guidelines Manual . . . . . . . . . . . 1
(effective November 1, 2004, through November 1, 2007)

Welcome to the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A.

The Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A. is a full service law firm providing aggressive representation to clients in the areas of Family law, Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, Real Estate, Foreclosure Defense, Mortgage Loan Modification, Short Sales, Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, Commercial Litigation, Business, Unfair Competition, Fraud, Personal Injury, and Criminal Defense.

Biography of Edward J. Chandler, Esq.

Mr. Chandler is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Wisconsin, and is a member of the Supreme Court of the State of Florida, the United States District Court for the Southern District and Northern District of Florida, 4th District Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mr. Chandler received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and his law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law, where he was a marshall in the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.

Mr. Chandler lives in South Florida.   His practice has expanded to include such areas as criminal law, Federal Criminal Defense, personal injury, family law, business law, commercial litigation and real estate.

Federal Criminal Defense
Business Law
Family Law
Constitutional Law
Criminal Matters
Commercial Litigation
Debt Negotiation
Family Law
Personal Injury
Real Estate
Technology Law
Wills, Trusts, Estates
Criminal Representation
Foreclosure Defense
Mortgage Loan Modification
Business & Civil Litigation.

If for some reason we cannot assist you in any legal matter, we will refer you to a trusted colleague who may be able to help you.

The history of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Federal sentencing guidelines were established by Congress in 1987 to create uniform sentences for similar crimes across the country.  Unlike mandatory minimum sentencing laws which can eliminate judicial discretion, the guidelines require a sentencing judge to consider various facts about the specific crime and defendant to justify a sentence within the guidelines.  Judicial consideration of these facts lead to a “guideline range,” for example: 18 to 24 months.  Mandatory minimums are “one-size-fits-all,” but the guidelines allow for upward or downward departures in unusual cases.Unfortunately, mandatory sentencing laws supersede or “trump” the sentencing guidelines, so judges first must determine if a defendant has been convicted of a crime which triggers a mandatory minimum penalty.  If so, the mandatory minimum sentence must be imposed regardless of the sentencing guidelines recommendation. Current federal sentencing guideline tables can be found at the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s website.

There are only two ways to avoid a mandatory minimum sentence.  First, a defendant can provide “substantial assistance” to the government by turning in other defendants.  Second, a defendant in a drug case only can qualify as a “safety valve” defendant.  Congress created the “safety valve” in 1994 to address excessive sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.  Congress created the “safety valve” in 1994 to address excessive sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.  It is very difficult to qualify as a “safety valve” defendant, and thousands of nonviolent drug defendants are still sent to prison for decades under mandatory minimum sentencing laws.  But a low-level, nonviolent offender who qualifies for the “safety valve” can be sentenced at the judge’s discretion under the sentencing guidelines instead of mandatory minimum laws.  You qualify for a “safety valve” only if your “criminal history category” is a Category I under the sentencing guidelines, you did not threaten violence or possess a gun, your offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury; you were not a leader in the offense; and you agree to provide the prosecutor with all the information and evidence you have concerning the offense and related offenses.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines were created by the United States Sentencing Commission in the 1990’s.   They purported to be a statistical compilation of sentences imposed in the federal courts throughout the nation for a given crime and where given sentencing factors were present.  The purpose was to establish a degree of uniformity in sentences throughout the nation.

The Sentencing Guidelines were binding on the federal judges until 2006 when the United States Supreme Court declared that the guidelines were unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court declared  that the guidelines were advisory and not mandatory on the judges.

How calculate a federal sentence:
 
You must determine the offense conduct:
Chapter two of the guidelines sets forth the “base offense level” for the crime with which you are convicted.

You must determine the Offense related adjustments
In Chapter Three you will see a number of offense-related adjustments.

“Acceptance of responsibility”   §3E1.1. Acceptance of Responsibility  provides a reduction of two or three points (depending on your base offense level)

You must determine the Criminal history category
They will assess one to three criminal history point (which is different than a guideline point) for each prior conviction depending upon the length of the conviction.  You then consult the criminal history table.   It provides as follows:

Catetory      Points

I                 (0 or 1)
II                (2 or 3)
III               (4, 5, 6)
IV              (7, 8, 9)
V               (10, 11, 12)
VI              (13 or more)
You must determine number of months and dusted offense level from The sentencing table range;
On Page 392 the  “adusted offense level” is found by adding or substracting the offense-related adjustments to the base offense level. Then determine the criminal history category.  Using the table you will then be able to determine your sentencing guideline range.                                           KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!


         My goal is to represent my clients as I would want to be represented, always putting their interests first, diligently working to fully understand and serve the clients’ needs. In short, to do whatever it takes for the successful resolution of the
clients’ causes.

         If you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense, you need to seek the advice of Edward J. Chandler, Esq., an experienced Florida Federal and State criminal defense attorney since 1991! Right now, you may be filled with fear, confusion, embarrassment, and anger. You probably have a thousand questions and want to know your rights and how to proceed. With your future as stake, you need to think smart and speak with an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Since a criminal conviction may affect your future, your reputation and your chances of getting a job, it is critical that you seek out an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney such as Edward J, Chandler, as soon as you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense. The right Florida criminal defense lawyer can evaluate your case, determine legal strategies, and defend you in court, increasing your likelihood of staying out of jail and protecting your future.

Given the complexity of criminal defense in Florida, it is important that you choose a Florida criminal defense lawyer that knows the Federal and State systems, and who combines experience with a track record, and who has a thorough understanding and familiarity with the law, the prosecutors and the local courts. If you have been accused of a crime, your time to get the right experienced Federal or State criminal defense attorney is limited. Regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty, you deserve aggressive, experienced legal representation.

Violating the laws in Florida can result in harsh punishments, such as incarceration and fines. However, being charged with a Federal or State criminal offense does not have to devastate your entire life.  Edward J. Chandler, Esq, is here to ensure that you get your life back, your peace of mind and your freedom. “I employ an aggressive defense, often convincing the prosecution to reduce the charges against you or, in some cases, dismissing them. My sole priority is to achieve a resolution that you can live with.”

Attorney Edward J. Chandler has successfully represented numerous clients charged with criminal offenses throughout the State of Florida.  Edward J. Chandler  prides himself on aggressive representation with a personal touch. Armed with Federal and State legal knowledge and experience, he can build a winning defense. Edward J. Chandler, Esq. is accustomed to taking on the criminal justice system and achieving the best results for his clients. In addition to personally handling your case from investigation, arrest, bond hearing, arraignment, discovery and through jury trial, Edward J. Chandler, Esq. will be available to you during every step of the criminal procedure. Edward J. Chandler guarantees that you and your case will receive his undivided attention.

When your future is on the line…Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A.  at (954) 788-1355  24/7 immediately! Your phone consultation is free and completely confidential.

Professional Organizations:

   * Florida Bar since 1991
* Broward County Bar Association
* Association of Trial Lawyers of America -ATLA
* Federal Bar
* Federal Court -Southern and Middle Districts of Florida
* Supreme Court of United States
* 4th District Court of  Appeals
* 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
* United States Tax Court

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What does the judge consider when imposing a Federal Sentence?

Welcome to the

Law Offices
of
Edward J. Chandler, P.A.708 East Atlantic Boulevard    Telephone:  (954) 788-1355
Pompano Beach, Fl 33060    Facsimile:  (954) 788-1357

Call Today! 24/7  “FROM ARREST TO TRIAL “

The sentencing judge must consider all “relevant conduct” for certain offenses, mostly drug, theft, and fraud offenses where the “offense level” is based on quantity.  “Relevant conduct” is any conduct that has a common scheme or plan, including charges that were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.  For this reason, plea agreements are often less beneficial than they first seem.  The government still has to prove that you actually committed the crime dismissed in a prior plea agreement.

The sentencing judge must consider all “relevant conduct” for certain offenses, mostly drug, theft, and fraud offenses where the “offense level” is based on quantity.  “Relevant conduct” is any conduct that has a common scheme or plan, including charges for which you were “not guilty.”

When a jury finds you “not guilty,” they have only determined that the prosecution has not met its burden of proving you guilty of all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  The jury has not made the determination that you did not commit the crime.  In a subsequent case a sentencing judge need only determine whether it is more likely than not that you engaged in the conduct previously charged against you.

Since it seems terribly unfair and is disrespectful of a jury’s verdict, some judges in some cases refuse to consider charges for which a person was found not guilty.

                                           KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!


         My goal is to represent my clients as I would want to be represented, always putting their interests first, diligently working to fully understand and serve the clients’ needs. In short, to do whatever it takes for the successful resolution of the
clients’ causes.

         If you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense, you need to seek the advice of Edward J. Chandler, Esq., an experienced Florida Federal and State criminal defense attorney since 1991! Right now, you may be filled with fear, confusion, embarrassment, and anger. You probably have a thousand questions and want to know your rights and how to proceed. With your future as stake, you need to think smart and speak with an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Since a criminal conviction may affect your future, your reputation and your chances of getting a job, it is critical that you seek out an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney such as Edward J, Chandler, as soon as you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense. The right Florida criminal defense lawyer can evaluate your case, determine legal strategies, and defend you in court, increasing your likelihood of staying out of jail and protecting your future.

Given the complexity of criminal defense in Florida, it is important that you choose a Florida criminal defense lawyer that knows the Federal and State systems, and who combines experience with a track record, and who has a thorough understanding and familiarity with the law, the prosecutors and the local courts. If you have been accused of a crime, your time to get the right experienced Federal or State criminal defense attorney is limited. Regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty, you deserve aggressive, experienced legal representation.

Violating the laws in Florida can result in harsh punishments, such as incarceration and fines. However, being charged with a Federal or State criminal offense does not have to devastate your entire life.  Edward J. Chandler, Esq, is here to ensure that you get your life back, your peace of mind and your freedom. “I employ an aggressive defense, often convincing the prosecution to reduce the charges against you or, in some cases, dismissing them. My sole priority is to achieve a resolution that you can live with.”

Attorney Edward J. Chandler has successfully represented numerous clients charged with criminal offenses throughout the State of Florida.  Edward J. Chandler  prides himself on aggressive representation with a personal touch. Armed with Federal and State legal knowledge and experience, he can build a winning defense. Edward J. Chandler, Esq. is accustomed to taking on the criminal justice system and achieving the best results for his clients. In addition to personally handling your case from investigation, arrest, bond hearing, arraignment, discovery and through jury trial, Edward J. Chandler, Esq. will be available to you during every step of the criminal procedure. Edward J. Chandler guarantees that you and your case will receive his undivided attention.

When your future is on the line…Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A.  at (954) 788-1355  24/7 immediately! Your phone consultation is free and completely confidential.

Professional Organizations:

   * Florida Bar since 1991
* Broward County Bar Association
* Association of Trial Lawyers of America -ATLA
* Federal Bar
* Federal Court -Southern and Middle Districts of Florida
* Supreme Court of United States
* 4th District Court of  Appeals
* 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
* United States Tax Court

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Filed under Attorney, Broward County, Criminal defense, Florida law, Law, Lawyer, Uncategorized

How Much of a Federal Sentence must be Served?

How Much of a Federal Sentence must be Served?

Welcome to the 

Law Offices
of
Edward J. Chandler, P.A.
708 East Atlantic Boulevard    Telephone:  (954) 788-1355
Pompano Beach, Fl 33060    Facsimile:  (954) 788-1357


Call Today! 24/7
“FROM ARREST TO TRIAL “

How Much of a Federal Sentence must be Served?

You will serve almost all of your sentence.  There is no such thing as parole in the federal system for all crimes committed after November 1, 1987.  If your sentence is longer than one year, you might qualify for a small reduction for “good time” which is earned at the rate of 54 days for every year of the sentence.  Although the statute that governs good conduct time, 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b), states that prisoners may earn up to 54 days per year, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) awards a maximum of 47 days for each year of the sentence imposed.

In addition, you may spend the last 10 % of your sentence, up to 6 months, in a community corrections center, or “half-way house.”  The recently passed Second Chance Act requires the BOP to issue regulations allowing prisoners to be placed in community corrections centers for up to twelve months, but the BOP has not yet issued such regulations.  Not all inmates are eligible for half-way house.  For example, those with immigration or other types of detainers are ineligible, as are sex offenders.

Time calculation is complicated.  You will generally receive credit for every day you spend in “official detention” after the offense for which you were convicted as long as those days were not credited toward another sentence.  Unfortunately, the definition of “official detention” is not always clear.  For example, time in a halfway house or in home confinement is not counted.  The basic rule is in section 3585(b) of title 18 of the United States Code, but this is an important issue to discuss with your defense attorney because it is so complicated.  In some instances, an attorney may be able to persuade a court to adjust the federal sentence to account for any potential discrepancies between the credits that the Bureau of Prisons will count, on the one hand, and the time the judge thinks should count on the other.

If you were in state custody and were brought into federal custody pursuant to a “writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum,” the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will generally only give you credits against your federal sentence if you did not receive state custody credits.  But if you were in state custody and the state dropped charges in favor of a federal prosecution, you will probably receive credits against your federal sentence even for the time you spent in state custody before the federal charges were filed as long as that time in custody occurred after the offense for which you were convicted federally and as long as you did not receive credit in the state against another state sentence.

Time spent in immigration custody may or may not be considered “official detention.”  It is important to discuss this issue with your individual attorney so he or she may attempt to work out a resolution that will result in the time being credited.

The initial appearance in magistrate court is not, ultimately, determinative of how your time is counted.  What is important is the question whether you were in “official detention.”

Usually you will get credit for all of the time you have been in custody while facing a federal charge.  There is an exception when you are serving another sentence either in state or federal prison.  For example, if you were in state custody and were brought into federal custody pursuant to a “writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum,” then the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will generally only give you credits against your federal sentence if you did not receive state custody credits.  But if you were in state custody and the state dropped charges in favor of a federal prosecution, you will probably receive credits against your federal sentence even for the time you spent in state custody before the federal charges were filed as long as that time in custody occurred after the offense for which you were convicted federally and you did not receive credit in the state against another state sentence.  Because this issue is so complicated, it is important to discuss any possible credits issues with your attorney before you are sentenced.

In some instances, an attorney may be able to persuade a court to adjust the federal sentence to account for any potential discrepancies between the credits that the Bureau of Prisons will count, on the one hand, and the time the judge thinks should count on the other.

Law Offices
of
Edward J. Chandler, P.A.
708 East Atlantic Boulevard    Telephone:  (954) 788-1355


Pompano Beach, Fl 33060    Facsimile:  (954) 788-1357
Call Today! 24/7

“FROM ARREST TO TRIAL “

                                           KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

         My goal is to represent my clients as I would want to be represented, always putting their interests first, diligently working to fully understand and serve the clients’ needs. In short, to do whatever it takes for the successful resolution of the
clients’ causes.
         If you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense, you need to seek the advice of Edward J. Chandler, Esq., an experienced Florida Federal and State criminal defense attorney since 1991! Right now, you may be filled with fear, confusion, embarrassment, and anger. You probably have a thousand questions and want to know your rights and how to proceed. With your future as stake, you need to think smart and speak with an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.Since a criminal conviction may affect your future, your reputation and your chances of getting a job, it is critical that you seek out an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney such as Edward J, Chandler, as soon as you are being investigated or charged with a Federal or State criminal offense. The right Florida criminal defense lawyer can evaluate your case, determine legal strategies, and defend you in court, increasing your likelihood of staying out of jail and protecting your future.

Given the complexity of criminal defense in Florida, it is important that you choose a Florida criminal defense lawyer that knows the Federal and State systems, and who combines experience with a track record, and who has a thorough understanding and familiarity with the law, the prosecutors and the local courts. If you have been accused of a crime, your time to get the right experienced Federal or State criminal defense attorney is limited. Regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty, you deserve aggressive, experienced legal representation.

Violating the laws in Florida can result in harsh punishments, such as incarceration and fines. However, being charged with a Federal or State criminal offense does not have to devastate your entire life.  Edward J. Chandler, Esq, is here to ensure that you get your life back, your peace of mind and your freedom. “I employ an aggressive defense, often convincing the prosecution to reduce the charges against you or, in some cases, dismissing them. My sole priority is to achieve a resolution that you can live with.”

Attorney Edward J. Chandler has successfully represented numerous clients charged with criminal offenses throughout the State of Florida.  Edward J. Chandler  prides himself on aggressive representation with a personal touch. Armed with Federal and State legal knowledge and experience, he can build a winning defense. Edward J. Chandler, Esq. is accustomed to taking on the criminal justice system and achieving the best results for his clients. In addition to personally handling your case from investigation, arrest, bond hearing, arraignment, discovery and through jury trial, Edward J. Chandler, Esq. will be available to you during every step of the criminal procedure. Edward J. Chandler guarantees that you and your case will receive his undivided attention.

When your future is on the line…Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A.  at (954) 788-1355  24/7 immediately! Your phone consultation is free and completely confidential.

Professional Organizations:

   * Florida Bar since 1991
    * Broward County Bar Association
    * Association of Trial Lawyers of America -ATLA
    * Federal Bar
    * Federal Court -Southern and Middle Districts of Florida
    * Supreme Court of United States
    * 4th District Court of  Appeals
    * 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
    * United States Tax Court


Leave a comment

Filed under Attorney, Broward County, Criminal defense, Law, Lawyer, Uncategorized

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN THE UNITED STATES

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN THE UNITED STATES

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN THE UNITED STATES

Welcome to the …….

Law Offices
of
Edward J. Chandler, P.A.
708 East Atlantic Boulevard    Telephone:  (954) 788-1355
Pompano Beach, Fl 33060    Facsimile:  (954) 788-1357
Call Today! 24/7

Criminal Procedure

Florida Criminal Lawyer Edward J. Chandler, Esq.

If You Have Been Arrested for a Crime or are being Investigated for A Suspected Criminal Action, you need legal advice and the assistance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A. to begin protecting your rights TODAY….

Phone (954) 788-1355

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN THE UNITED STATES

A history Lesson:

The English colonists who came to North America in the 17th century brought their legal traditions with them. After the American Revolution (1775-1783), the English common law-including the adversarial approach to criminal procedure-remained as the basis of law in the United States.

The United States has a federal system, meaning that power is divided between a central authority and many state or local authorities. Thus, there are 51 different sets of criminal procedural law in the United States-that of the federal government and one for each of the 50 states. In addition, separate criminal procedures exist for military courts and for federal territories. The procedures adopted by each state and the federal government vary. However, the shared heritage of the English common law provides significant similarities in the basic structure of the process. Furthermore, the Constitution of the United States imposes some limitations on the states in formulating their criminal procedure.

Federal Criminal Procedure

A person prosecuted in the federal courts on a charge of violating a federal criminal law is subject to federal criminal procedure. Federal procedure is governed, first of all, by certain provisions of the U.S. Constitution, especially those contained in the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution). The Constitution guarantees certain procedural rights that the government must afford a federal criminal defendant, unless the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives (surrenders) these rights (see Constitution of the United States: Rights of the Accused).

THE FOURTH AMENDMENT:

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures and describes how law enforcement officials can obtain warrants (court orders permitting a search or arrest). The Fifth Amendment protects individuals accused of crimes from having to testify against themselves and from being tried more than once for the same offense. It also requires that any criminal charges result from the proceedings of a grand jury-a body of citizens convened to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to have a trial. Finally, the Fifth Amendment requires that government procedures adhere to due process of law, which means basic standards of fairness and equity. Under the Sixth Amendment, a defendant is guaranteed a speedy and public jury trial during which the defendant will get notice of the charges he or she faces and may call witnesses and face his or her accusers. The Sixth Amendment also guarantees that the trial will take place in the district where the alleged crime was committed and that the defendant will have the assistance of legal counsel. The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments.

These constitutional guarantees provide a starting point for federal criminal procedure. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, issued by the Supreme Court of the United States and enacted by the Congress of the United States in 1945, supplement the constitutional guarantees. The rules contain detailed provisions relating to the pretrial, trial, and appeal stages of federal prosecutions. Other details of federal criminal procedure are covered in federal statutes enacted by the U.S. Congress. Finally, a substantial part of the law of federal criminal procedure is found in the reported decisions of the federal courts.

State Criminal Procedure

A person prosecuted in the courts of a particular state on a charge of violating the criminal laws of that state is subject to state criminal procedure. State criminal procedure is found in the constitution, statutes, rules, and judicial decisions of that state. Furthermore, portions of the U.S. Constitution are applicable to state criminal defendants.
State constitutions generally guarantee a state criminal defendant most of the same rights that a federal defendant is provided by the Bill of Rights. Some states have provisions that vary from federal constitutional requirements. For example, in a number of states criminal charges need not result from the proceedings of a grand jury. Instead, a judge determines whether or not the accused person should be tried after reviewing the evidence during a preliminary hearing. States may provide greater rights for criminal defendants than the U.S. Constitution guarantees.

The Supreme Court of the United States has required states to provide to criminal defendants most of the procedural guarantees in the U.S. Constitution. For example, states must recognize the Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. In addition to these specific rights, the states are required by the U.S. Constitution to guarantee due process. The 14th Amendment, passed after the American Civil War (1861-1865), reads in part, “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Like the 5th Amendment, which applies to federal criminal procedure, the 14th Amendment requires the states to maintain certain minimum standards of fundamental fairness in their laws concerning criminal procedure. For instance, prosecutors may not systematically exclude members of a particular race or gender from a jury. State convictions that result from proceedings that violate the minimum standards required by the 14th Amendment can be set aside by the federal courts through the process of appeal if the state courts themselves do not do so first.

JURISDICTION For a criminal conviction to be valid, both the sovereign power (the state or federal government) and the specific court that tries the accused must have jurisdiction (authority) over the crime charged. Jurisdiction refers to a court’s authority to hear and decide a case. The jurisdiction of state courts is restricted by the geographical boundaries of the state. Jurisdiction is also limited by the type or subject matter of a case. For example, a family court with jurisdiction over child custody and placement cannot try a murder case.

According to the laws of some states, a crime is committed in only one place and only the sovereign that controls that place has the power to try the accused for the wrongdoing. Therefore, if a woman standing in one state shoots and kills a man who is just over the state line in another state, the murder is committed in the state where the lethal bullet hit the victim. Only the state where the victim was injured has jurisdiction to try the woman. However, some states have enacted statutes conferring jurisdiction on the state where the crime was partly committed.

Because in many instances only the state where the crime was committed may prosecute the accused, laws have been enacted providing a process for acquiring custody of individuals accused of committing a crime in one state who then flee to another state or country. The U.S. Constitution provides for interstate extradition-that is, each state must surrender people who flee to that state upon a request by another state in which the person is accused of committing a crime. Many countries have adopted treaties that specify how suspected criminals who flee from one country to another can be returned to the country from which they fled.

About the Courts of Appeals

Courts of Appeals, formerly Circuit Courts of Appeals, in the federal judiciary system of the United States, courts created by Congress in 1891 to relieve the Supreme Court of its great burden of work and thus to give speedier justice to litigants. These courts make decisions on appeals from lower federal courts subject to review in the U.S. Supreme Court. In practice, however, the Supreme Court reviews only a few cases-usually those that involve a novel constitutional question or an interpretation of federal statutory law when there is a conflict among the various courts of appeals. The Supreme Court rules on the law and then returns the case to the appeals court for disposition on the basis of that ruling. Cases involving the constitutionality of legislation or the interpretation of treaties between the U.S. and other governments need not pass through the courts of appeals; they may be appealed directly from the lower courts to the Supreme Court.

A court of appeals functions in the District of Columbia and in each of the 11 federal judicial circuits. In addition, a court of appeals for the federal circuit was created in 1982 to review certain cases involving copyright, tax, patent, and federal employment law, as well as claims against the U.S. for money damages. Each court consists of at least three judges appointed for life by the president and approved by the Senate.

********

A “crime” is any act or omission (of an act) in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Crimes include both felonies (more serious offenses — like murder or rape) and misdemeanors (like petty theft, or jaywalking). No act is a crime if it has not been previously established as such either by statute or common law.

Historically, most crimes have been established by state law, with laws varying significantly state to state. There is, however, a Model Penal Code (MPC) which serves as a good starting place to gain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.

In recent years the list of Federal crimes has grown.

All statutes describing criminal behavior can be broken down into its various elements. Most crimes (with the exception of strict-liability crimes) consist of two elements: an act, or “actus reus” and a mental state, or “mens rea.” Prosecutors have to prove each and every element of the crime to yield a conviction.

If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact us.

Florida Criminal Lawyer Edward J. Chandler, Esq.
If You Have Been Arrested for a Crime or are being Investigated for A Suspected Criminal Action, you need legal advice and the assistance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A. to begin protecting your rights TODAY….

Phone (954) 788-1355

PURPOSE OF CRIMINAL LAW

Criminal law seeks to protect the public from harm by inflicting punishment upon those who have already done harm and by threatening with punishment those who are tempted to do harm. The harm that criminal law aims to prevent varies. It may be physical harm, death, or bodily injury to human beings; the loss of or damage to property; sexual immorality; danger to the government; disturbance of the public peace and order; or injury to the public health. Conduct that threatens to cause, but has not yet caused, a harmful result may be enough to constitute a crime. Thus, criminal law often strives to avoid harm by forbidding conduct that may lead to harmful results.

One purpose of both civil law and criminal law in the common law system is to respond to harmful acts committed by individuals. However, each type of law provides different responses. A person who is injured by the action of another may bring a civil lawsuit against the person who caused the harm. If the victim prevails, the civil law generally provides that the person who caused the injury must pay money damages to compensate for the harm suffered. A person who acts in a way that is considered harmful to society in general may be prosecuted by the government in a criminal case. If the individual is convicted (found guilty) of the crime, he or she will be punished under criminal law by either a fine, imprisonment, or death. In some cases, a person’s wrongful and harmful act can invoke both criminal and civil law responses.

THEORIES OF CRIMINAL PUNISHMENT

Various theories have been advanced to justify or explain the goals of criminal punishment, including retribution, deterrence, restraint (or incapacitation), rehabilitation, and restoration. Sometimes punishment advances more than one of these goals. At other times, a punishment may promote one goal and conflict with another.

Retribution: The theory of retribution holds that punishment is imposed on the blameworthy party in order for society to vent its anger toward and exact vengeance upon the criminal. Supporters of this theory look upon punishment not as a tool to deter future crime but as a device for ensuring that offenders pay for past misconduct.

Deterrence: Those who support the deterrence theory believe that if punishment is imposed upon a person who has committed a crime, the pain inflicted will dissuade the offender (and others) from repeating the crime. When the theory refers to the specific offender who committed the crime, it is known as special deterrence. General deterrence describes the effect that punishment has when it serves as a public example or threat that deters people other than the initial offender from committing similar crimes.

Restraint: Some believe that the goal of punishment is restraint. If a criminal is confined, executed, or otherwise incapacitated, such punishment will deny the criminal the ability or opportunity to commit further crimes that harm society.

Rehabilitation: Another possible goal of criminal punishment is rehabilitation of the offender. Supporters of rehabilitation seek to prevent crime by providing offenders with the education and treatment necessary to eliminate criminal tendencies, as well as the skills to become productive members of society.

Restoration: The theory of restoration takes a victim-oriented approach to crime that emphasizes restitution (compensation) for victims. Rather than focus on the punishment of criminals, supporters of this theory advocate restoring the victim and creating constructive roles for victims in the criminal justice process. For example, relatives of a murder victim may be encouraged to testify about the impact of the death when the murderer is sentenced by the court. Promoters of this theory believe that such victim involvement in the process helps repair the harm caused by crime and facilitates community reconciliation.

Conflicts Among Goals: The various justifications for criminal punishment are not mutually exclusive. A particular punishment may advance several goals at the same time. A term of imprisonment, for example, may serve to incapacitate the offender, deter others in society from committing similar acts, and, at the same time, provide an opportunity for rehabilitative treatment for the offender. On the other hand, the goals of punishment may at times conflict. The retributive and deterrence theories call for the infliction of unpleasant experiences upon the criminal, including harsh prison treatment; but the prison environment may not be conducive to, or may even defeat, rehabilitation.

No one theory of punishment addresses all the goals of criminal law. A combination of theories and goals plays a part in the thinking of the legislators who establish the ranges of punishment for various crimes, the judges and jurors who sentence offenders within these ranges, and the parole authorities who have the power to release certain prisoners.

CLASSIFICATION OF CRIMES

Crimes are classified in many different ways: common law crimes versus statutory crimes, and crimes that are mala in se (evil in themselves) versus those that are mala prohibita (criminal only because the law says so). An important classification is the division of crimes into felonies or misdemeanors. This distinction is based on the severity of the crime and is rooted in common law.

In many jurisdictions in the United States, felonies are crimes punishable by death or imprisonment in a state prison or penitentiary and misdemeanors are those punishable by fine or imprisonment in a local jail. (The term jurisdiction refers to the authority of a political entity, such as a state or a county, or the territory over which that authority is exercised.) In other jurisdictions, crimes punishable by imprisonment for one year or more are felonies, and those punishable by fine or imprisonment for less than one year are misdemeanors. Since each jurisdiction determines the penalties for offenses it defines, a misdemeanor in one jurisdiction may constitute a felony in another. Some jurisdictions have an additional classification for petty offenses, also called infractions, which are usually punishable by a small fine.

Florida Criminal Lawyer Edward J. Chandler, Esq.
If You Have Been Arrested for a Crime or are being Investigated for A Suspected Criminal Action, you need legal advice and the assistance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A. to begin protecting your rights TODAY….

Phone (954) 788-1355

posted by Edward J. Chandler, Esq. at 10:40 AM 0 comments
Friday, August 05, 2005
Florida Criminal Lawyer Edward J. Chandler, Esq.
If You Have Been Arrested for a Crime or are being Investigated for A Suspected Criminal Action, you need legal advice and the assistance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A. to begin protecting your rights TODAY….

Phone (954) 788-1355

Criminal Law

Welcome to my law firm. I am attorney Edward J. Chandler, Esq. The focus of my practice in Broward County Florida is Criminal Law. I represent defendants charged with either Federal or State crimes.

If you want to know about your rights and options call me for a free consultation. Call attorney Edward J. Chandler, Esq., at
Tel. (954) 788-1355

EDWARD J. CHANDLER, ESQ. represents clients in State and Federal criminal defense cases in the following areas:

Federal Criminal Trials

State Felony Trials

Drug Trafficking Cases

Conspiracy Cases

RICO Cases

Health Care Fraud

Bank Fraud

Money Laundering

Security Violations

IRS Violations

White Collar Crime

Asset Forfeiture

Grand Jury Representation

Business Fraud and Theft

Battery

DUI

Grand Theft

Battery on a LEO

Burglary
Attorney Chandler also represents individuals charged with criminal offenses including:

DUI Driving under the influence
# BUI Boating under the influence
# Traffic Cases Driving with Suspended License
# Drug Cases prescription drugs, marijuana, cocaine
# Felonies and Misdemeanors
# Juvenile Delinquency Cases
# VOP’s Violations of Probation

If You Have Been Arrested for a Crime or are being Investigated for A Suspected Criminal Action, you need legal advice and the assistance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer.

Call the Law Offices of Edward J. Chandler, P.A. to begin protecting your rights TODAY….

Phone (954) 788-1355

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