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Could I Be Prosecuted for Using Facebook at Work? Supreme Court to Decide.

In April 2020, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Van Buren v. United States.  This case raises questions about what constitutes criminal “computer misuse” under 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a).  The petitioner, Mr. Van Buren, was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a) after accepting a loan in exchange for personal records obtained through a police database.  As a police officer, Mr.

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Sentence Reductions Under the First Step Act

In 2018, Congress passed the reformative First Step Act, commonly called the FSA.  One of the FSA’s reforms allows certain inmates to receive greater reductions for good behavior than was previously possible.  This posts examines the FSA’s changes to earned time credit. Background For many decades, inmates showing progress towards rehabilitation could serve part of their sentences outside of prison

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Getting out of Prison on Compassionate Release

In 2018, Congress expanded the so-called “compassionate release” statute to allow inmates to petition their sentencing judges for reductions based on extraordinary circumstances.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the amended compassionate release statute probably saved the lives of many vulnerable inmates that judges saw fit to release.  This post gives a summary of the provisions of this important law. Background of

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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.  Here we discuss the history of this defense and its practical applications. The Origins of

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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!

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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

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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

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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.

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