Appellate Cases in Federal and State Court from Our Appellate Attorneys


  • Harry Seay v. United States- this case is before the United States Supreme Court were our appellate attorney has petitioned for certorari. This case was argued by our criminal appellate attorneys before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in 2008. These was a case that is now cited extensively under the Begay analysis that the United States Supreme Court has promulgated in the past year. The lower court issue was related to the North Carolina stalking statute. Seay was give an enhancement at sentencing based on his prior conviction for stalking in North Carolina. There were several evidentiary issues also presented at the sentencing that are also being raised at the Supreme Court. The case originated out of the Federal Court in Florence, South Carolina.
  • United States v. K.H.- this federal appeal was based on the defendant receiving a sentencing enhancement. The court granted the United States Attorney’s motion to enhance the defendant’s sentence for being a leader in a conspiracy. This applies to conspiracy indictments and the government alleges that one or more of the defendants is a leader or organizer of the conspiracy. This indictment was out of the Federal Court in Columbia, South Carolina.
  • United States v. S.H.- this federal appeal was from the District Court in Columbia, South Carolina. The defendant was convicted after trial. This appeal was based on the judge enhancing the defendant’s sentence for perjury. This perjury enhancement was not a willful violation, but the defendant was still sentenced to a larger amount of prison time. There was also an appellate issue based on the judge allowing specific evidence to be admitted into the case over the objection of the criminal defense attorney in Columbia.
  • United States v. C.L.- our federal appellate attorneys filed this appeal based on a Booker argument and a failure of the trial attorney to review the pre-sentence investigation report. Booker arguments do not carry as much weight as in previous years. This appeal was out of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
  • United States v. R.F. – federal appeal out of Rock Hill, South Carolina. The defendant was charged with bank robbery. He was indicted and convicted in Federal Court. The defendant received two critical sentencing enhancements that dramatically affected his case. Under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the defendant was enhanced for a firearm and for perjury. Our appellate attorney argued against both in the appeal and added a Booker argument about the reasonableness of the sentence given by the Federal Judge.
  • United States v. K.M.- the defendant was convicted possession of a firearm by a convicted fellow. A very common charge in the Fourth Circuit and especially in South Carolina. The main issue in this appellate brief was the competency of the defendant to take a plea. The defendant was under the influence of several medications. The court inquired about the effect the medication was having on the defendant and assumed that the defendant could proceed. This case was out of the Federal Court in Aiken, South Carolina.
  • United States v. W.V.- the appeal was based completely on federal sentencing issues. The defendant’s sentence was increased based on his prior convictions. The United States Probation officer enhanced the defendant’s sentence based on his prior conviction for presenting a firearm and possession of drugs with intent to distribute. The defendant was sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act. This allowed for a minimum prison term to be given by the federal judge.
  • United States v. C.B.- this defendant was indicted for human trafficking. The indictment alleged that the defendant was involved in a conspiracy to import girls into South Carolina from Mexico. The defendant signed an appellate waiver, which effectively eliminated his chance to have his case reviewed by the appellate courts in Richmond, Virginia.
  • United States v. H.M.- indictment out of the Federal Court in Columbia, South Carolina. The defendant was indicted for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. The defendant was sentence at the old ration of crack to cocaine. Since this sentencing the United States Justice Department has stated that the current administration considers this ratio to be inappropriate and a ratio of one to one should be used in the crack cocaine analysis. Our appellate attorneys argued this point again in this appellate brief. We have raised this issue on several other cases in the Eleventh Circuit and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal.
  • United States v. M.M.- Defendant indicted in Charleston, South Carolina for violation of federal drug code. This appeal from Charleston Federal Court was based on an Apprendi issue. The basis for an Apprendi issue is the amount of drug weight that is added to the case at sentencing. In other words information that the jury did not hear will be introduced at sentencing against the defendant there by increasing the sentence.
  • United States v. M.A.- This is an appeal from Charleston Federal Court. The defendant was sentence to 366 days in federal prison. The reaons for the sentence was to ensure that the defendant would be exposed to deportation from the United States. The defendant had been indicted for counterfeit goods. The victims were large corporations that could not prove any real loss to their companies. These cases are selectively enforced by the companies who in turn get the federal government involved. If the defendant had been sentenced to less than 365 days in prison he would have had the opportunity to stay in the United States. The defendant had been a resident of this country for many years and had been awaiting his citizenship. Our appellate attorney in Charleston has raised several issues on the appeal, including the judge’s rationale for the sentence in this case.
  • United States v. D.S. – This was a federal indictment from Florence, South Carolina. The defendant was indicted for possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felony. This case was a real travesty of justice if there ever was one. The defendant was arrested on a bench warrant and during the pat down there were several rounds of 9mm ammunition found on the defendant. The defendant had previously been convicted of domestic violence and failure to stop for blue light. The government moved to have the defendant sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act. This provided for a mandatory prison term. The defendant was given several years in federal prison for possessing ammunition after being convicted in state court of failure to stop for a blue light.
  • United States v. L.P.- this was a federal case out of Charleston, South Carolina. The defendant was convicted of several counts of fraud. She received an enhanced sentence based on an allegation that one of the victims to the fraud was a “vulnerable victim.” This relates to either an individual who is elderly or incapable of understanding the circumstance surrounding the fraud. This case is also similar to an embezzlement indictment.
  • United States v. R.R.- The defendant was foreign national who had previously been indicted and removed from the United States. The defendant was then arrested back in the United States and faced a federal indictment for illegal reentry into the country. This indictment has become very common in the past several years.
  • United States v. K.D.- The defendant was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine in South Carolina. This was case that we hated to get. The defendant had no issues for the appeal that would merit a remand from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. In this situation an appellate brief is referred to as an Anders Brief. We make every effort to never file this type of brief no matter the situation. It is a cardinal rule of appellate attorneys to find something to appeal for their client. We spent days reviewing everything possible in this case and were unable to find what we needed to get this case overturned.
  • United States v. W.R.- the defendant was indicted in the South District of Florida, Miami. The defendant went to trial and was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The government alleged that the defendant shipped several tons of marijuana across the United States. Our Miami appellate attorney raised several issues to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia. The defendant was enhanced for his alleged role in the conspiracy and a Booker argument was also established at the sentencing.
  • United States v. P.R.- Appeal from Miami Federal District Court. The defendant went to trial on a conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. The defendant was arrest at Miami International Airport with over a kilogram of cocaine in his tennis shoes. There was very little to appeal, but the case went up to the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. The appellate issue was the insufficient of the evidence, in particular the lack of evidence that the defendant knew there was cocaine in his shoes.