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Criminal Law

Concealed weapon case proceeds in prosecutor’s absence (access required)

Where the commonwealth’s attorney declined to prosecute a misdemeanor concealed weapon charge, defendant’s motion to dismiss, based on the prosecutor’s absence, is denied. The court agrees with a recent circuit court opinion, Commonwealth v. Sangha, 2021 WL 1179859 (Fairfax Cnty. ...

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Not presenting insanity defense was effective assistance (access required)

Defense counsel provided effective assistance by not asserting an insanity defense. Petitioner is denied habeas corpus relief. “Under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984), a petitioner must prove both that his counsel’s performance was deficient and that he ...

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Aggravated RICO conspiracy not a ‘crime of violence’ (access required)

Because a defendant may complete the final element of an aggravated RICO conspiracy without using, attempting to use or threatening to use physical force, an aggravated RICO conspiracy is not categorically a crime of violence. Background Antonio Simmons, Nathaniel Mitchell ...

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Habeas granted because of prosecutor’s improper closing arguments (access required)

Where the prosecutor’s improper statements during closing arguments on charges of sexual assault, including asking the jury to convict the defendant based on the prospective sins of others, the remarks so prejudiced the defendant’s substantial rights that he was denied ...

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ERISA doesn’t bar garnishment of 401(k) to satisfy restitution order (access required)

The court joined two other circuits in holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, doesn’t prevent the government from garnishing the retirement assets of a defendant in order to satisfy a criminal restitution order under ...

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New hearing ordered because of attorney’s conflict-of-interest (access required)

Where an attorney argued during a plea withdraw hearing against his client’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea, that conflict of interest warrants a new hearing with conflict-free counsel. Background Tekoa Glover raises two independent claims for relief from his ...

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