Our long-awaited new website is now up and running. One of the perks of the new website is our “On-Site Blog,” which gives us a convenient, central location to post updates on changes in federal criminal law. Feel free to bookmark this page and check back frequently. Initially, there may be three or four in a week, but after that, there will rarely more than one per week, unless there happens to be more legislative activity than usual.

The purpose of the blog is four-fold:

First, we intend to post answers to questions that arise frequently in the course of my discussions with clients;

Second, we will post information that is relevant to the majority of our clientele and the issues they face; and

Third, provide easy-to-understand information and commentary on changes to federal sentencing policy, mandatory minimum legislation policy, and notable changes to case law from the Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court;

Fourth, provide a good way for family members of federal inmates to learn more about, or completely dispel, the “jailhouse rumors” that go through the entire Federal Bureau of Prisons population in waves. I’ll know when it is time to post on these when, after long periods of quiet, I start getting call after call from people saying, “My loved one in federal prison told me that ____ passed in Congress, and I’m calling to get more information on it.” Then I have to explain that, no, whatever it was actually did not pass, but was just a scheduled vote in a subcommittee meeting, or whatever the situation happens to be. So, here, we can explain what is really going on with the pending legislation, and readers can send the correct information to the inmate, if they like.

If there is anything you think would make a good topic of analysis and discussion here, shoot me an email to suggest a topic!


Comments (2)

  • vrgnstewart7@aol.com on January 10, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    can a person be charged for the same crime in the state and feds at the same times, and be trailed by the same prosutser in both courts?

  • Chad Van Cleave on January 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Great question! Yes. A person can be charged in federal court and in state court for the same conduct, if that conduct violates both the state and federal statutes. Justice says that this should not happen, but it has been tested at the U.S. Supreme Court and they have not ruled it unconstitutional. A single prosecutor may be the reason why the case is prosecuted on both the state and federal levels, but it is seldom the same prosecutor. I have known situations, however, where in sparsely populated areas, a state prosecutor also serves as a special assistant federal prosecutor, and so it is theoretically possible. Where these "double prosecutions" happen most often is in child pornography cases where a crime is committed against a child, which violates a state statute, and it is photographed, which violates a federal statute. In one case I dealt with, the state violation was prosecuted first, and he got 30 years, and then the federal violation was prosecuted and he got a consecutive 43 years, I believe. It is possible that drug crimes can be prosecuted this way, as well, but it does not happen as often. By Chad Van Cleave