The Law Office of C. Justin Brown this week obtained a sentence reduction of 97 months for a federal inmate. Sentence reductions of this magnitude are rarely seen in federal court.
The client was convicted on drug charges in 2007 following a four-day jury trial. He was sentenced to 240 months (20 years) in prison. He appealed the sentence but was denied by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
He then filed a post-conviction motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. His primary issue was that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to argue that the Baltimore police obtained evidence through an illegal search of the apartment where the drugs were found. If the search had been found to be illegal, most of the evidence would have been suppressed, and it would have been unlikely that the Government could have prevailed at trial. The U.S. District Court denied the motion, however, without conducting a hearing.
The client then appealed to the Fourth Circuit. The appeal was successful in that the appellate court remanded the case back to District Court for more fact-finding. The Fourth Circuit was concerned that the record did not clearly show why trial counsel had failed to raise the suppression issue.
While the case was awaiting a hearing in U.S. District Court, the parties reached a agreement that would reduce the sentence to 143 months. This week the Court accepted the agreement.
Congratulations to our client!