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Criminal Law

CAV: No double jeopardy under new SCOTUS ruling (access required)

Like the petitioner in Currier v. Virginia, a defendant who voluntarily requested to sever and continue one of the charges against him for strategic reasons could not prevail on his claim that the second trial violated double jeopardy principles, either ...

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4th Cir.: Sentence-reduction motion was in feds’ discretion (access required)

By the unambiguous terms of a plea agreement, the government had discretion to determine whether the defendant had complied with his obligation under the agreement to give full and complete testimony when asked. Given this discretion, it was not required ...

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4th Cir.: No late substitute for unconstitutional predicate (access required)

After U.S. Supreme Court precedent invalidated one of the defendant’s three predicate convictions mandating a sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, his sentence could not be sustained by a “substitute” conviction that appeared on his pre-sentence report but ...

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Va. Cir.: Hearing on forensic testing is ex parte, but order is not (access required)

A capital murder defendant who sought forensic testing of certain evidence was entitled to present his argument to the court ex parte under Code § 9.1-1104. But the statute does not authorize ex parte status for the resulting order as ...

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CAV: Counsel’s appearance suggests client knew trial date (access required)

Timely notice of the required appearance date is not an element of felony failure-to-appear. In this case, notice could be inferred from the defendant’s presence in court (with counsel) when the continuance date was announced and by his counsel’s appearance ...

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WDVA: Counsel disqualified for past representation of key witness (access required)

Despite informed consent from both clients, a defendant’s attorney was disqualified from representing her on a drug charge because he had previously represented a material witness for the government. Background In a prior criminal drug prosecution, Defendant Lauren Hoback’s defense ...

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4th Cir.: Longtime resident removable based on old drug offense (access required)

After a trip to his native U.K., a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. was denied admission upon his return, based on a seven-year-old conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. His removal order was ...

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EDVA: Hate-crime law unconstitutional as applied to Amazon worker (access required)

An Amazon warehouse employee who beat up a coworker based on the victim’s sexual orientation couldn’t be convicted of a federal hate crime, though the jury delivered a guilty verdict. The act didn’t affect interstate commerce and, thus, was outside ...

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SCV: Miranda warning written in Spanish was effective (access required)

Evidence was sufficient to conclude that a Spanish-speaking defendant waived his Miranda rights prior to a police interview. He was given the written warning in Spanish, asked by an interpreter if he understood it, and read it back to officers. Background Detective ...

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