What areas do you feel comfortable opining about? In other words, what’s your area of expertise/ what are you known for?*
I practice in the Federal Criminal Defense, for those who find themselves facing this life-altering event. For An Example of How Preparation Can Positively Impact One’s Sentence – if they have been Prepared for their Interview, see my 5/2023 Elizabeth Holmes YouTube:
Once the DOJ has its Investigation underway, the quicker you act, the better your client’s chances will be of mitigating or getting their best or lowest sentence. Why, because the DOJ comes to the table with a 98% conviction rate and bottomless financial pockets with which to prosecute.
After all the legal work is done, and the guilty verdict is in, two parties are left.
1st The JUDGE, who understands that people don’t commit crimes in a vacuum and wants to understand the defendant, and
2nd, the defendant has to help the Judge understand what changed or brought them to this point where they broke the law. Humanizing themselves before the Judge takes work is done by changing the current NARRATIVE, or story of who they are, their INDICTMENT.
This is an arduous, self-reflective experience for them to go through, forcing a face-to-face with their innermost thoughts.
Taking weeks to months to complete, can result in a distilled version of themselves that is honest and pure, a version where they have Remorse, Accepted Responsibility, and Identify with the Victims of the Crime They Have Perpetrated.
Standing at your sentencing hearing anticipating their conversation with the Judge, they’ll realize that writing the narrative has been an unexpectedly cathartic experience. Speaking from the heart now ‘could’ influence the court, and ‘may’ impact their sentence.
ALL OF THIS IS PREPARED, COMPLETED, AND PRESENTED TO THE PROBATION OFFICER ~2 WEEKS BEFORE THE PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW, IN ADDITION TO THE REQUESTED BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL I.D. INFORMATION.
Also covered are The Reentry Plan, PATTERN Score, SPARC-13 Assessment, and The Administrative Remedy Process (BP 8-11, 2241; which the BOP encourages inmates to use).
The Federal Lawyer, 12/2021,
The Critical Role of The Presentence Report, Dr. Marc Blatstein, and Faye Spence, Esq
ABA, 11/2022, REPRESENTING PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA
CHAPTER 1. What Is Dementia? Page 1, Dr. Marc Blatstein, and Faye Spence, Esq.
CHAPTER 13. Jail and Prison Conditions, Page 155, Dr. Marc Blatstein, and Faye Spence, Esq.
Preparation starts with the defense team encouraging their client to start thinking and drafting their,
a) PERSONAL NARRATIVE,
b) RELEASE PLAN,
Reviewing and understanding their,
d) PATTERN Score, and
e) SPARC-13 Risk Assessment Questions,
f) Copies of all Biographical and Personal Information as instructed by their counsel.
When everything is complete, counsel will then provide it to the Probation Officer 1-3 weeks before the Interview.
g) Administrative Remedy Process (BP 8-11, 2241; which the BOP encourages inmates to use).
h) What to Expect Inside The BOP
This provides the Officer with the quality time needed to enter your information into their Probation Report, and later at the interview personally meet you and ask questions.
As most of their report has already been filled out due to your hard work before the meeting, this can be a casual conversation with less stress, and maybe the Officer comes away from the meeting thinking that you were prepared, and has an overall better feeling about your client – quite different from the NARRATIVE released by the DOJ.
3. The defendant must also understand how to navigate prison, how Not To Loose their GOOD TIME CREDITS, EARNED TIME CREDITS, and RDAP CREDITS (if applicable), and how to Advocate for themselves using The Administrative Remedy Process.
IS YOUR CLIENT PREPARED FOR THEIR PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW AND SENTENCING HEARING?
“Judges want to hear from the defendants” because they understand that crimes do Not Happen In A Vacuum, they need and want to understand What Changed In Their Lives That Precipitated this event?
A WELL-THOUGHT OUT; PERSONAL NARRATIVE, ALLOCUTION, and REENTRY Plan is your Story or Autobiography.
This takes time to write and self-introspection to think. It can be as long as it needs to be, but after multiple re-writes, is distilled down until it reveals a version of you that accepts Responsibility, has Remorse, and agrees with the court to the Victims you have created.
Your client understands it’s their responsibility to make things right by their Victims 1st, the Community 2nd, family 3rd, and themselves last. This comes from interviews with Federal Judges, across the country.