Successful Appeal Cases

A good law firm is defined by it’s successes. Take a look at some of the cases we’ve won…

Smith  v. MagnusonSuccessful Appeal Cases

In 2001, Magnuson was indicted for two counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes, as well as for attempted kidnapping and child pornography. In a group plea, Magnuson entered a guilty plea on all charges and was sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison, along with combined probated sentences of another 25 years.

The State of Georgia appealed the decision, citing court records that Magnuson had been properly advised of the consequences of waiving his rights with a guilty plea, and had acknowledged that he understood. Upon review, however, the Georgia Supreme Court refuted this argument on the grounds that it did not account for the fact that Magnuson’s mental health was affecting his answers as reflected in the court records. Since the State had produced no evidence to show that the habeas court’s findings were clearly erroneous, the Supreme Court justices unanimously affirmed the decision. Read more…

United States v. Derrick Johnson

United States Court Of Appeals For The Eleventh Circuit (2013).
Derrick Johnson appeals his total 66-month upward variance sentence, imposed after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, more than 400 grams of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846, and 18 U.S.C. § 2, and one count of distribution of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2. On appeal, Johnson first argues that the district court erred by departing upward from the guideline range. Second, Johnson argues that the district court exhibited bias against him by considering his family situation-his children born out of wedlock and his marital status-at sentencing, and, therefore, should have recused itself under 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). After thorough review, we vacate Johnson’s sentence and remand for resentencing. Read More

United States v. House

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (2012).
This case involved a number of issues; (1) whether the record contains sufficient evidence to support a conviction, (2) whether the district court erred in instructing the jury, (3) whether the district court improperly interjected itself into the trial, (4) whether the district court improperly excluded evidence, (5) whether the prosecutor improperly commented on House’s decision not to testify, (6) whether his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance, and (7) whether the cumulative effect of any errors deprived him of a fair trial.

During trial the court gave improper jury instructions regarding traffic stops as applied to law enforcement under Wren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806, 116 S.Ct. 1769, 1774-76 (1996). As a result the court of appeals overturned four of the 12 counts of conviction resulting in remand for further proceedings.

United States v. Patterson

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (2011).
Patterson was originally sentenced to serve 324 months, the low end of the guidelines. The district court failed to provide any explanation in support of the sentence it ultimately imposed. As such, it did not allow for meaningful adequate review of the sentence, as set out in United States v. Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 328 (4th Cir. 2009). This error was not harmless and the government conceded the error. Therefore, Patterson was ordered to be resentenced.

The firm also represented Patterson for his resentencing on February 6, 2012. Given his rehabilitative efforts since beginning his sentence, pursuant to the Supreme Court’s holding in Pepper v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 1229 (2011); the crack-cocaine amended guidelines; and the fact that one of his prior North Carolina convictions was no longer considered a felony under United States v. Simmons, 649 F.3d 237 (4th Cir. 2011), his sentence was reduced from 324 to 240 months.

United States v. P.W.

United States District Court Northern District of Georgia (2011).
Here the client was charged with possession of child pornography (cp). The guideline sentencing range was 210-162 months. We filed a sentencing mitigation memorandum citing United States v. Dorvee, 616 F.3d 174, (2d Cir. 2010); United States v. Grober, 595 F.Supp.2d 382, (D. N.J. 2008), United States v. Hanson, 561 F.Supp.2d 1004 (E.D. Wis. 2008), and United States v. Autery, 555 F.3d 864 (9th Cir. 2009). Our client was sentenced to 27 months.

United States v. Pahua-Martinez

United States District Court in Nebraska, Omaha. (2009). Here the client reentered the United State illegally for the second time after being convicted of a drug offense in the state of California several years before the second illegal reentry. The government requested a 16 level increase in the sentencing guidelines based on the guideline provision authorizing such an enhancement for the type of drug offense charged. We were able to argue that the enhancement did not apply to the first illegal reentry and therefore should not apply on the second one. The first illegal reentry was prosecuted in Federal court in California. The Nebraska court did not agree with the California court but none the less determined the inconsistent results would not be reasonable and as a result sentenced the client without the 16 levels enhancement. Sentenced to 27 months instead of 210 months.

United States v. Munoz

United States District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, Charlotte division (2009). Here our client was charged with a cocaine offense. After lengthy negotiations the case was reduced from a sentencing range of 13 to 15 years to a sentence of 8.6 years.

United States v. Lahr

United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (2009). The client was charged with Tax fraud. After lengthy negotiations the sentencing range was reduced and instead of a five year sentencing exposure the client received 37 months.

United States v. Smith

United States District Court Middle District of Georgia, Augusta division (2008). Here our client was stopped while speeding. A request to search her vehicle was made. After consent marijuana and cocaine were found in the vehicle. After a polygraph exam revealed the client did not know about the cocaine hidden in a spare tire we were able to get the sentence reduced from five years to 11 months.

United States v. Greer

United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia, Columbus division (2008). Here the client was charged with multiple counts related to causing the death of a child using an explosive device. It took several years to indict our client. The government had done an extensive investigation before charging our client. Once we got into the case we established a plan to fully investigate the government’s accusations and evidence as well as address the forensic evidence using our own experts. After continuously showing the government that there was other evidence that implicated another suspect and there was no forensic evidence associating our client with the bomb making materials the charges were dismissed entirely.

There are many other cases we have represented successfully from pretrial through plea, sentencing and appeal. If you have a federal case and need representation do not hesitate to call us. Feel free to contact us online.

Successful Appeal Cases from the Federal Criminal Law Group


  • Miller v. State of Georgia, 464 S.E.2d 860 (Ga. App. 1995)


  • U.S. v. Cudemo, 100 F.3d 948 (3rd Cir. 1996)
  • U.S. v. Funkhouser, 185 F.3d 863 (3rd Cir. 1999)
  • U.S. v. Holtz, 116 F.3d 470 (3rd Cir. 1997)
  • U.S. v. Kapral, 166 F.3d 565 (3rd Cir. 1999)
  • U.S. v. Salb, 60 F.3d 819 (3rd Cir. 1995)


  • U.S. v. Brightwell, 104 F.3d 47 (4th Cir. 1996)
  • U.S. v. Peterson, 27 Fed. Appx. 193 (4th Cir. 2001)
  • U.S. v. Sanson, 85 Fed. Appx. 967 (4th Cir. 2004)


  • U.S. v. Schreiber, 167 F.3d 213 (5th Cir. 1999)
  • U.S. v. Rose, 449 F.3d 627 (5th Cir. 2006)


  • U.S. v. Landivar, 110 F.3d 71 (9th Cir. 1999)
  • Marquez-Perez v.Rardin, 221 F.3d 1139 (9th Cir. 2000)
  • U.S. v. Osborne, 129 F.3d 128 (9th Cir. 1997)
  • U.S. v. Reagan, 218 F.3d 957 (9th Cir. 2000)


  • U.S. v. Kirby, 31 Fed. Appx. 934 (11th Cir. 2002)
  • U.S. v. Hands, 184 F.3d 1322 (11th Cir. 1999)
  • U.S. v. Nolan, 117 F.3d 1430 (11th Cir. 1997)
  • U.S. v. Ramsdale, 61 F.3d 825 (11th Cir. 1997)
  • U.S. v. Stone, 139 F.3d 822 (11th Cir. 1998)


  • U.S. v. Husband, 126 S.Ct. 322 (2006)

We have also represented appeal cases and section 2255 motions in other federal circuits not mentioned here.