After more than two years of careful research and deliberation, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) released The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to Trial on the Verge of Extinction and How to Save It. The “trial penalty” refers to the substantial difference between the sentence offered prior to trial versus the sentence a defendant receives after a conviction at trial. This penalty is now so severe and pervasive that it has virtually eliminated the constitutional right to a trial. The report notes that to avoid the trial penalty, defendants must surrender fundamental rights which are essential to a fair justice system. The release of this report has garnered support from leading criminal justice reform entities, all of which agree that the incursion on the right to a trial poses a clear threat to justice.
NY & NJ Criminal Defense Law Blog
In Fox News coverage of the one-year anniversary of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, In Kaitlyn Schallhorn's May 17, 2018 coverage of Michael Flynn's legal options, Ms.Schallhorn quotes Mr. Stahl:
Robert Stahl, a white-collar criminal defense attorney in New York and New Jersey, told Fox News withdrawing a guilty plea “is extremely rare and very difficult.”
Headlines and tweets coming out of Washington have put a spotlight on law enforcement’s use of informants, now known in federal parlance as “confidential human sources” or CHS. Putting aside the political theater and self-serving spin of the “criminal deep state” and the planting of spies, how are informants used in every day investigations?
Using human sources (informants) to collect information is common throughout municipal, state and federal investigations. Informants are either individuals who have been charged with their own crimes and have agreed to cooperate in the hopes for reduced charges or sentence based upon that cooperation, or are people who are paid for their information and access to criminal groups or activities. The use of confidential human sources is expressly encouraged by the guidelines that cover the FBI’s behavior.
Tags: Criminal Investigation
While most people consider themselves unlikely to become the subject of a police investigation, there is one common situation in which ordinary citizens fall under police scrutiny: the traffic stop. Police officers are trained to search for evidence of illegal activity every time they pull over a driver, whatever the reason for the stop. While the consequences for speeding, failure to maintain lane, careless driving or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can be bad enough – carrying the possibility of loss of driving privileges, assessment of motor vehicle points and higher insurance rates – things become far more serious if the police search for and find illegal drugs in a car. Teenagers and young adults – who are presumed by police to be more likely to be in possession of illegal recreational drugs – are often the targets of such searches late at night, while driving to and from wherever it is that teenagers actually disappear to when they leave the house to “hang out with friends.”
President Trump tweeted that Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and “fixer”, won’t flip on him. Putting aside for the moment why the President would say this if Cohen didn’t have incriminating evidence against him - because one could only “flip” on someone if they did - let’s examine why people charged with crimes cooperate with law enforcement.
In recent days we have witnessed the President and various pundits scream (or tweet) that the attorney-client privilege is dead or under serious attack. What they are referring to, of course, is the judicially authorized search of Michael Cohen’s home, office and hotel room by the FBI. Cohen is said to be one of the President’s long-time attorneys.
Federal and state prosecutors are increasingly aggressive in their investigation and prosecution of healthcare fraud. Given the vast amounts of government or private insurance monies that can be exploited, the penalties have increased for healthcare professionals and others who engage in fraudulent activities. Sentences of 10 years or more, in addition to forfeitures, restitution and fines in the millions of dollars, are becoming commonplace.
Tags: Healthcare Fraud
Michael Flynn's legal fees continue to grow with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and Flynn's guilty plea to "willfully and knowingly" making "false, fictitious and fraudulent statements" to the FBI regarding conversations with Russia's ambassador.
In his coverage of the legal fees of Michael Flynn and Andrew McCabe for Fox News, Alex Pappas sought out Criminal Defense Attorney Robert Stahl for background on the costs of criminal defense cases. In his March 30, 2018 coverage comparing the legal costs and funding of Michael Flynn's legal expenses to that of Andrew McCabe, Mr. Pappas quotes Mr. Stahl:
“Most people have no idea how expensive top flight representation costs in white-collar cases,” Robert Stahl, a criminal defense attorney and a former assistant U.S. Attorney, told Fox News.
While most people would say that you should retain a criminal defense lawyer once you are charged with a state or federal crime, the answer is not that straightforward. In many instances, an individual or company will learn that there is an active, pending investigation into their activities. They might be contacted by law enforcement for an interview; they might be served with a grand jury subpoena for documents and/or testimony; they might learn that business associates and customers have been interviewed by law enforcement; they might receive a “target letter” from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; or they might be tipped off by their friendly banker that their financial records have been subpoenaed.