Securing Bail and Sentencing Mitigation in Federal Narcotics Cases – Michael B. Cohen

Can a defendant receive a bond in a narcotics case and eventually receive a sentence well below his or her sentencing guideline range?

In United States v. Butler, Case number 21-CR-60085-RS-1, Mr. Cohen accomplished just that result.

Michael B. Cohen, Esq., has extensive experience in the field of federal criminal defense. If you are seeking a federal criminal defense attorney with the knowledge and expertise to assist you when facing federal charges, look no further than our law firm.

Mr. Cohen is an expert in criminal trial law; he is a board-certified criminal trial lawyer and has served as the attorney of record in over 500 federal criminal and federal civil cases over the last approximately twenty years in the federal courts of the Southern District of Florida alone. He also handles federal cases throughout the United States in other federal jurisdictions.

In Ms. Butler’s case, the defendant was charged with conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

When considering the federal bond statutes, Federal Magistrate Judges (who are the judges responsible for setting bonds in the federal system) consider two primary questions. First, whether the defendant is a flight risk, and secondly, whether the defendant is a danger to the community when setting the amount of a bond at a federal detention hearing.

The federal bond statute contains a presumption against granting bail in a federal narcotics case, such as the one Ms. Butler was charged in. Nonetheless, Mr. Cohen succeeded in obtaining a reasonable bond for his client. Thus, although it is very difficult to obtain a bond in a federal narcotics case, it is not impossible, and skilled trial counsel should always argue against the rebuttable presumption that the defendant is a danger to the community just because they may be charged with a drug offense.

Moreover, as in this case, evidence was presented at the bond hearing demonstrating the defendant was also not a flight risk, and the Court granted her a reasonable bond at her detention hearing.

In this case, Mr. Cohen was also faced with a computation by the US Probation office that computed the defendant’s sentencing guideline range at an extremely high estimate.

Based on Mr. Cohen’s skilled advocacy and appropriate objections filed to the Defendant’s pre-sentence investigation report (the report prepared by the US Probation Office, which computes a defendant’s sentencing guideline range), Mr. Cohen was able to convince the US District Judge sentencing Ms. Butler at her sentencing hearing that she should receive a sentence 60 months (five years) below the estimate computed by the US Probation Office.

This was accomplished by a series of objections filed to the defendant’s pre-sentence computation and an appropriate Motion for a Downward Variance based on the sentencing laws applicable to this client’s case.

If you need a highly experienced federal criminal defense attorney or an extremely knowledgeable federal criminal defense lawyer skilled in all aspects of a federal criminal case from a client’s initial appearance, his bond hearing, through their sentencing hearing, contact the Law Offices of Michael B. Cohen. Mr. Cohen is a board-certified criminal trial lawyer and an expert in this area of the law. He can be reached at 954-928-0059. See my website for my contact information as well or contact me at

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