Criminal Defense Attorneys

 

You Know the Law

 

Preparation – Takes The Fear And Panic Out of Federal Prison, ‘For Your Clients’

Experience is my story:
After 30+ years in medicine, and having a successful foot and ankle surgical practice, in 2006 I was convicted of a felony. The charge involved using a surgical, ‘place of billing codes’ – it was a tough learning experience, I took full responsibility, and my license was fully restored – without restrictions in 2010.

  • The mind is an incredible organ, so while I don’t remember everything, throughout the initial event I was that “deer in headlights.”
  • Several times between 2005/2006, patients that I had done surgeries on had stopped by to give me a “heads up,” to let me know that the FBI was asking questions.
  • The 1st one I thought was a fluke, the second one prompted me to call an attorney.

 

Preparation – Was never brought up

 

1. I was totally unaware of the PSI (although I’m sure there was one), and the implications of the PSR
2. Personal Narrative, what was that?
3. After the Plea, at the hearing, I never expected the judge to ask…

  • If I had anything to say, Why??
  • I was unprepared here too, answering without Originality; “I’m sorry.”

4. We then asked if we could appeal the Indictment.

  • Actually, in hindsight, that was a Big Mistake!
  • While the judge said OK, he had just previously told us,
  • “He Did Not Want Me Back In His Courtroom, Again” I’ll explain later if you ask me.

5. My next job was to self-surrender to a camp, …

  • I was totally unprepared for what I was about to encounter
  • From medication unavailability to
  • What to expect from Prison,
  • Going from alpha to zero – was a shock to the system.

 

As I Take The Fear And Panic Out of Federal Prison For Your Clients, this

  • Empowers them to participate in their defense with greater confidence, carrying them through their prison experience to post-release.
    • Re-instilling in them a skill they once had – to be self-motivated and self-reliant.
    • They will be better partners in their defense, and
      • Better positioned with the skills and
      • Confidence to continue the work they still have to do in prison – to get home ASAP
      • By their first Unit Team meeting, they should be prepared to,
        • Discuss their plan
        • Described that they have heard a lot about the Risk Assessment test (SPARC-13) – “I’d like to take it.”
        • I have been thinking about my Reentry Plan, which I’d like to present to you at our next meeting
        • I have this book reading list ( List:___), which will help me improve my skills
        • All in order to achieve, or start to work towards a future / earlier release date
    • Their families will appreciate your efforts as they struggle through this life-altering event.

Financial Responsibility Plan (FRP). If you have a large fine or restitution, and money is a problem, the BOP ‘FRP’ requires participation, and if you cannot, this could hinder your client’s participation in PATTERN Programs and early release efforts.

  • It may help if you could ask the judge to write into the order, that the defendant is not responsible for the Financial Responsibility Plan until after they are released from the BOP

If You Suspect You’re The Target of a Federal Investigation | Before The Presentence Interview (PSI) | After The PSI – But Before The Sentencing Hearing | After Sentencing or You’re Already Incarcerated | There Are Still Things We Can Do

For a consultation without any obligations on your part, Dr. Blatstein is easy to reach and returns all of his calls – personally: 240.888.7778, or by email.


PREPARATION: A CORE VALUE

Preparing your client – for their Presentence Interview 

First connecting with the probation officer, allows you to develop a relationship, which may result in getting your message “on the record,” and into The Presentence Report (Blatstein et al.).

  • Judge Scola noted “criminal defense attorneys should emulate their death penalty colleagues and advised”;
    1. Don’t wait to think about sentencing advocacy.”
    2. In other words, since 99 percent of one’s federal criminal clients will be facing sentencing, start preparing the case for sentencing early on.”

 

Preparation – The common theme

Presentence Interview Preparation

I) The Personal Narrative

• This is your client’s only time to be prepared, take their time for introspection, and write a note to the court that is from their heart.

• While being cathartic to the defendant, could also result in a departure from the guidelines.
• A very important vehicle, and could also be used in video format, making it easier for the judge to use, and can be made with just a smartphone.

II) Medical and Medication Availability

  • Psychology Special Needs Placement Request, Limited Availability
  • Medical CARE LEVEL I-IV Structure; where does your client fit?

III) FSA Relevant Programs

  • Preparation with all of the defendant’s biographical information,
    • PPRS Prison Match can also match the defendant with a BOP facility, based on their specific
    • FSA criminogenic Programming Need

IV) Security Level / BOP Placement 

V) Sentence Mitigation

  • Overcrowding
  • Staffing shortages
  • Accepting Responsibility may allow a 2-level reduction in offense level.
  • Self-Surrender allows a 3 Point Reduction

VI) Getting Your Message On The Record – is through the PSI ⇒ PSR
• Preparation, if everything is done early, then the PSR is now a comprehensive document.

VII) Currently the BOP is preparing for the “tripledemicthreat of influenza, RSV, and COVID-19

Prevention of COVID | Airborne Transmission – This 20-minute video is worth the listen.


PPRS Prison Match™ Software matches the following data points:

  • USSC Sentencing Guidelines/Tables,
    • Criminal History Score vs Offense Level
  • Public Safety Factors and Management Variables
  • Medical and Mental Healthcare CARE LEVELS I-IV
  • All 3500+ Medications of BOP Formulary and Non-Formulary
  • Providing a BOP Placement, Individually matched to the person

The URBAN INSTITUTE First Step Act’s PATTERN – Risk Assessment Tool; Male/Female


Is your client a Veteran?

If possible, connect your client with a facility that caters to veterans.

Catholic University Law Review; “Dog Training Programs support inmate rehabilitation”.

Other Military prisons with service dog training programs

  • NAVCONBRIG Miramar (aka Joint Regional Correctional Facility Southwest)
  • NW Joint Regional Correctional Facility Ft. Lewis Washington
  • Military Prison at Fort Leavenworth
  • Once their training is complete, these dogs are placed with veterans in the community who have:

Multiple Judges Would Like To HearHonest Personal Narratives

  • “Attorneys”, humanize your client.
  • Good allocution can cause a Judge to impose a lower sentence.
  • Tell their story, but don’t minimize the seriousness of what your client did.
  • Judges will sometimes ask a defendant what he/she will do upon release to reduce their need to re-offend.
  • Show his/her strengths and weaknesses.
  • If you can show that you are on the same page with the court as to the seriousness of the offense, the chances of having your other statements accepted will increase. 
  • Judges would rather hear from your client during their sentencing hearing
    • unless you have new information not contained in your sentencing memorandum and/or other submissions.” 

What cases do judges find most challenging:

  • Predatory child sex offenders who have harmed children, and 
  • White-collar criminals have hurt vulnerable people.


If You Suspect You’re The Target of a Federal Investigation | Before The Presentence Interview (PSI) | After The PSI – But Before The Sentencing Hearing | After Sentencing or You’re Already Incarcerated | There Are Still Things We Can Do

For a consultation without any obligations on your part, Dr. Blatstein is easy to reach and returns all of his calls – personally: 240.888.7778, or by email.


The responsibility for a client’s mental and physical health should be safeguarded in order to protect them from themselves and others while providing a safe environment for the duration of their incarceration. These are recommendations only, and the responsibility of the defense, court, and BOP.

 

National Medical and Mental Health Programs, 2017 (Now FSA)

Also found on Dr. Blatstein’s LinkedIn