United States v. Melvin

In United States v. Melvin, the 3rd Circuit clarified the standard for evaluating motions for early termination of supervision pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e). The Court disavowed two prior non-precedential opinions that required termination “only when the sentencing judge is satisfied that something exceptional or extraordinary warrants it, or upon a showing of new or … Read more

State v. Faber

In State v. Faber, the NJ Appellate Division held that, as part of the defendant’s sentence for DWI, the Law Division failed to include mandatory participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. Because this omission rendered it an illegal sentence, the case was remanded. Furthermore, when the Law Division granted the defendant’s application to stay … Read more

Commonwealth v. Johnson

In Commonwealth v. Johnson, the Superior Court confronted an issue critical for lawyers who practice in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The defendant was convicted of robbery in Pennsylvania but had a prior third-degree aggravated assault conviction from New Jersey. The trial court considered the foreign conviction a “strike” under 42 Pa.C.S. § 9714 — … Read more

United States v. Capps

In United States v. Capps, the 3rd Circuit ruled that the District Court plainly erred when it applied two enhancements—the abuse of trust adjustment and the gross receipts adjustment—to the defendant’s sentence. The District Court erroneously relied on the defendant’s position at Vanguard and his conduct related to the conspiracy to commit mail fraud, not … Read more

Commonwealth v. Weir

If you work in criminal defense, read Commonwealth v. Weir. The PA Supreme Court ruled that a challenge to the sentencing court’s order setting the amount of restitution implicates the court’s discretion and, therefore, must be preserved with (1) a contemporaneous objection and/or a post-trial motion and (2) process provided by 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9781(b) and Pa.R.A.P. 2119(f).

Commonwealth v. Hill

In Commonwealth v. Hill, the PA Supreme Court held that the defendant’s separate sentences for his convictions of two counts of 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 3802(a)(1) and 3804(c)(1), based on a single criminal act, were a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. Section 3802 is entitled “Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.” 75 … Read more

Commonwealth v. Brown

The defendant in Commonwealth v. Brown argued that the trial court erred when it imposed a sentence above the mandatory minimum for DUI, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3802(a)(2), an ungraded misdemeanor and his first such offense in ten years. The PA Superior Court affirmed the sentence, holding that the trial court acted within its discretion when … Read more

Commonwealth v. Shires

In Commonwealth v. Shires, the PA Superior Court discussed the distinction and significance of conditions of probation and/or parole imposed by the sentencing court, and conditions of supervision, which can be imposed by the probation and/or parole department. Here, the conditions of supervision that the defendant allegedly violated were never ordered by the court nor … Read more

United States v. Easter

In United States v. Easter, the 3rd Circuit broke with the holdings of several other circuits and ruled that, when deciding whether to exercise its discretion under § 404(b) of the First Step Act to reduce a defendant’s sentence, including the term of supervised release, the district court must consider all of the § 3553(a) … Read more

United States v. Williams

In United States v. Williams, the 3rd Circuit affirmed the convictions of ten codefendants whose claims of error involved the right to a public trial, suppression as well as other evidentiary issues, and sentencing. In a 107-page opinion, the Court did not find merit in most of the defendants’ claims. But the 3rd Circuit vacated one … Read more