Legal Blog


Can I raise an entrapment defense to my federal criminal charge?

The “entrapment defense” is a legal concept that many people have at least a passing familiarity with. At the same time, there is much confusion about what this defense actually consists of. The entrapment defense, while potentially powerful, is much narrower than many people realize. We here discuss the history of this defense and its practical applications.

The Origins of the Entrapment Defense

Prior to 1932 there was confusion in the federal courts about whether the so-called entrapment defense existed at all. If a person voluntarily commits a criminal act, some judges wondered, why should it matter if government agents … Read More »



Superlawyers 2020

Attorneys Charles Burnham and Eugene Gorokhov have been named to SuperLawyers for Washington, DC.. The award is limited to the top 5% of lawyers in a jurisdiction. Thank you!



A Novel Criminal Offense for the Novel Coronavirus: Hoarding and Price Gouging Under the Defense Production Act

Hoarding or charging excessive prices for precious medical supplies during a public health emergency can earn you social opprobrium but did you know it could send you to prison as well?

In our capitalist society, we don’t normally think of such things as charging inflated prices as criminal matters – your customers will punish you themselves by going to the competition. However, when the merchandise in question is medical supplies desperately needed for the fight against coronavirus, the normal rules do not apply.

A Brooklyn pharmacist recently became acquainted with this fact when NYPD officers and federal agents armed with … Read More »



The Ins and Outs of Misdemeanors in Federal Court

We often think of federal criminal prosecutions as the most serious of all cases but are there federal misdemeanors as well? The answer is yes, misdemeanors are routinely prosecuted in U.S. District Courts alongside the major felonies. Federal prosecutors have hundreds of potential misdemeanor charges in their arsenal – everything from familiar offenses like theft to arcane and little known offenses such as Unlawful Importation of Honeybees. In this post we discuss how misdemeanors are prosecuted in U.S. District Courts.

What is a federal misdemeanor?

A federal misdemeanor is either an offense that violates federal law or an offense committed … Read More »



Frequently Asked Questions About Time Theft For Federal Employees and Contractors

FAQ: Time Theft for Federal Government Employees and Contractors

Lying about having jury duty or the flu to get out of work could result in losing a federal civil service job but did you know it could send you to prison as well? In some cases, falsifying your work records can be a federal crime carrying significant penalties. This post discusses time theft – what it is, how to avoid it, and what to do if you are accused of committing it.

A sample timecard.

What is time theft?

Time theft, “time and attendance fraud,” or “time card … Read More »



Eugene Gorokhov and Ziran Zhang secure reversal for client on appeal in the Fourth Circuit

Eugene Gorokhov and Ziran Zhang represented a client convicted of firearms offenses on appeal in the Fourth Circuit. The Fourth Circuit reversed the client’s sentence based on an argument that the government’s sentencing recommendation was a breach of the plea agreement, and the district court failed to consider non-frivolous sentencing arguments by the defense.

The opinion may be accessed here.



Charles Burnham speaks on CNN regarding Maria Butina prosecution

On April 25, 2019, Charles Burnham was quoted on a CNN.com article describing the case against Maria Butina.

Mr. Burnham was quoted as stating: “I think if I was Miss Butina’s defense team or I was the judge, a legitimate question to ask is how is it fair she spends two years in prison when an American citizen, who was arguably a co-conspirator, gets no time at all.”

The full article may be accessed here.

 



Eugene Gorokhov appears on BBC World News to speak about the Paul Manafort Prosecution

On March 8, 2019, BBC World News invited Eugene Gorokhov to speak about the Paul Manafort prosecution.

https://www.burnhamgorokhov.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/BBC_World_News-2019-03-08_02-03-00.mp4-gorokhov.mp4



A Closer Look at First Step Act Changes to 851 Enhancements

The First Step Act is a criminal justice reform bill that has passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting a vote in the Senate. It has been endorsed by President Trump.

The bill covers lots of subjects but one important one is changes to enhancements for repeat drug offenders. Defense lawyers and federal prosecutors often refer to these as “851 enhancements” after the code section that sets forth the procedures for imposing them.

As the law stands now a defendant convicted of a 10 year minimum federal drug offense with at least one felony drug prior can have his … Read More »



FAQ – Obtaining Exculpatory Evidence From The Prosecution in Criminal Cases

What is exculpatory evidence?

The United States Supreme Court has held that exculpatory evidence is any evidence that is favorable to the defendant on issues of guilt or punishment. Exculpatory evidence is also sometimes called “Bradyevidence” or “Bradymaterial,” a name that comes from the Court’s decision in Brady v. Maryland.

Does the defendant have a right to exculpatory evidence from the prosecution?

Under Brady v. Maryland, prosecutors have a duty to hand over exculpatory evidence to the defendant. This duty exists even without any request from the defendant. However, a specific request for exculpatory evidence can be beneficial for a … Read More »