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Tag Archives: Sentencing

Criminal history includes only active sentences (access required)

Rejecting the reasoning in unpublished 4th Circuit decisions on the question, the court held that under Sentencing Guidelines § 4A1.2, a defendant’s criminal history category calculation did not include petty offenses for which active imprisonment was less than 30 days, ...

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CAV: Attempt is “punished as larceny,” qualifying for enhancement (access required)

Attempted petit larceny qualifies as a felony recidivist “third or subsequent offense” under Code § 18.2-104, meriting an enhancement sentence. Background At trial, the Commonwealth presented evidence that Appellant Fred Coleman was attempting to steal a bicycle when the victim ...

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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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CAV: News article on prior trial not testimonial; admissible (access required)

At a defendant’s probation revocation hearing, the circuit court properly admitted information about the defendant’s most recent convictions as reported in a news article read by the prosecutor. The article was written to inform the public, not in anticipation of ...

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4th Cir.: Fraud conspirator must forfeit only her own proceeds (access required)

Under recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a defendant convicted in a mortgage fraud conspiracy could not be ordered to forfeit the total amount of losses from the conspiracy – over $1.5 million – when she personally had received only $231,000 ...

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4th Cir.: Market value should dictate recovery for stolen merchandise (access required)

In calculating appropriate restitution to be paid by a video-game thief, the district court erred in accepting the victim’s unsubstantiated estimate of replacement costs, rather than requiring evidence on fair market value. Background Appellant Dominic Steele was convicted of postal ...

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CAV: No revocation after good-behavior term expires (access required)

Despite the defendant’s probation violations, the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to reinstate his previously suspended prison time after the suspendion period had elapsed. Background On December 14, 1993, Green pleaded guilty to one count of felony arson. The trial court ...

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CAV: After plea deal, withdrawal would prejudice state (access required)

A defendant who’d agreed to plead guilty to murder could not withdraw his plea, fairly negotiated, based on the subsequent discovery of a witness with potentially exculpatory testimony. Background Appellant Franklin Thomason was at his home with his girlfriend and ...

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