Attorney Alexei Schacht Wins Smuggling Appeal
Experienced attorney Alexei Schacht handles major New York State and federal criminal cases. Alexei Schacht focuses on winning appeals, often successfully defending his clients from serious accusations.
One winning case that stands out involved a husband and wife who pleaded guilty to smuggling aliens into the United States; charges included possession of false identification documents and extortionately extending credit to aliens. Representing the husband, Schacht sought to overturn the lower court’s rulings by calling attention to discrepancies in the sentencing phase of their trial.
After a conviction, many courts use criminal history to calculate points, based on various factors, such as the gravity of offenses. The total offense level sets a range of sentence lengths, stated in months.
There were significant disparities in the calculation of points for the defendants; one agency counted 27 points, while another counted 31. The district court that made the convictions arrived at a total of 35. The range from 27 to 35 created a variance in sentence lengths from 70 to 87 months to 168 to 210 months. The fate of the defendants depended on the interpretation of the points tables.
The appeals court ruled the persons calculating points reached a confusing conclusion, and therefore vacated (nullified) the sentences, ordering a new sentencing hearing.