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The Application of the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984

There has been quite a bit of talk and litigation in the federal court system about the application of the Armed Career Criminal Act after the Supreme Court’s decision in United States vs. Johnson – as well as its progeny of cases.

This federal law allows the government to charge an individual that qualifies – based upon the nature of the new offense and the alleged offender’s criminal history - under the statute with a specification that can have catastrophic effects on the defendant’s and his or her family’s lives. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, if a person is found guilty of a crime that qualifies under the Armed Career Criminal Act, he or she may be subject to no less than a fifteen (15) year mandatory federal prison sentence. Even more disconcerting, however, is that the same individual may be sentenced to as much as life in federal prison under the federal sentencing guidelines.

The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA) has been scrutinized lately by the U.S. Supreme Court and several federal district courts, including the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Simply put, the law is vague as to what constitutes an offense of violence or other qualifying offense under the statute. Consequently, several cases are being argued all over the country that will effect the Armed Career Criminal Act’s application to individuals charged with federal crimes.

The criminal defense litigation team at The Stone Law Firm, LTD are currently actively involved in this fight right now in the Eastern Division of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. We are actively fighting for a client who would not otherwise qualify for the ACCA if it were not for crimes that he committed more than twenty (20) years – almost thirty (30) years- ago. Our office is relentlessly challenging the applicability of the ACCA, specifically its definition of a “violent crime.” Most recently, the team filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal, challenging a trial court’s decision that the ACCA applied to its client.

Lead counsel, Adam Stone; in-house investigator, Michael McBeth, intern, Michael Brown; and our newly minted attorney, Sarah M. Walter have spent countless hours preparing briefs and appeals to be argued within the Eastern Division of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, or if necessary, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

At The Stone Law Firm, LTD we have experience dealing with complex federal criminal litigation that can have a lasting effect on a client’s entire life, as well as the lives of his or her children and loved ones.

It is imperative that those individuals who may be under investigation or under arrest for any federal (or state) charges assert their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney. It does not matter whether he or she actually committed any crime, remaining silent until he or she has spoken with a competent criminal defense attorney is often the difference in finding the truth and/or successfully asserting a defense to any qualifying criminal offense under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

The Stone Law Firm, LTD is conveniently located in Bucyrus, Ohio – equidistant to all federal district courts in the Northern District of Ohio and the Columbus, Ohio division of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. In addition, managing partner and lead criminal defense attorney, Adam Stone, handles state court criminal matters throughout Northcentral Ohio and represents individuals throughout Crawford, Seneca, Wyandot County and all over Northcentral Ohio.

If you are under investigation for violation of any federal crime, you may be in danger of being charged under the Armed Career Criminal Act, based upon the nature of the new offense and your criminal history. If you or a loved one needs guidance through these difficult and potentially life-altering investigations anywhere in Ohio or across the country, we invite you to contact us today for a confidential consultation.
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