OK – I get it. If you are the Prez’ and you ran on a scare platform that crime is rampant in the streets and makes it more likely you will be murdered in Chicago than you will find an empty Starbucks in Seattle, you’ve got to get tough on crime! So the Donald’s new AG is not fooling around. By Memo dated March 8, 2017 he directs the 94 United States Attorneys Offices to “partner with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for significant violent crime in their districts” and then use “the substantial tools at their disposal to hold them accountable….” And those federal agencies like the FBI and other law enforcement types of both state and local varieties have lots of “tools” by which to ferret out crime. And AG Sessions reminds prosecutors to target certain federal crimes and be creative, while awaiting an “upcoming memorandum on charging for all criminal cases….”
What this means to criminal defense types is simple – expect more prosecutions and AUSAs asking for stiffer punishment. Expect to have to work harder to sort out the real criminals from the usual suspects – people who make generally bad decisions. And expect that our clients who are teetering on the verge of prosecution may sooner find themselves charged and facing federal trials.
And what if you are under federal investigation? First, I suggest you get the best lawyer you can afford. Somebody you can trust. Second, get started developing your trial or settlement strategy at once. Third, if you are going to tap out, settle soonest before this push for greater prosecutions gains traction, and limits your options.
Until next time…