I think my lawyer did a lousy job of defending me. Can I do anything about it now?
It is essential you read the chapter in Busted on Appeals and Writs. It begins with the advice "If you have been convicted after a trial, you should always appeal." This chapter tells you everything you need to know about immediately filing a Notice of Appeal and about 2255 motions. If you think your lawyer was incompetent or lazy and this affected your defense, these are grounds for appeal against your conviction. Busted even has the forms in the book that you need to fill out to start the appeal process.

What is a PSI report and is it important?
Your Pre-Sentence Investigation Report is very important. It could drastically effect your rights to appeal your case and seek other post-conviction relief via 2255 and other motions. Busted explains in detail exactly why this is so. Busted also has an entire chapter about the different tricks the prosecutor can use in a plea agreement to take away your rights with no compensation to you for accepting the agreement. The book also explains prison rules that make it harder for you to protect your access to this vital document and suggests ways to get around them.

How do I protect my legal documents and personal property?
The critical time is after sentencing when you are being moved from jail to prison. You must not leave documents with your jailers or entrust them to US Marshals, because they will get 'lost'. It can be very important to safeguard these papers for future use and Busted by the Feds tells you how to do this.

Where will I do my time?
Part II of Busted By The Feds is devoted to everything you need to know about prisons and there is a chapter entitled What Prison Will You Go To?

It begins by pointing out "The Bureau of Prisons designates its inmates to specific prisons according to each inmate's score on a custody classification chart." The book lists all the processes involved and even gives you the worksheet that you can photocopy and fill out to determine what your custody score will be.

Tables in this chapter list federal prisons grouped according to their security classifications. There are also listings of regional offices of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and mailing addresses for inmates in federal prisons as well as the phone numbers for all prisons.

How much of my sentence will I actually have to do in prison before I can go home or to a halfway house?
Many things will determine this and Busted discusses all these factors, including
  • General information about the Bureau of Prisons and Doing Time
  • The crucial importance of your PSI report
  • Good conduct time
  • Halfway houses
  • Community-based correctional facilities
  • Completing drug treatment programs
  • Supervised release and how it varies from the old parole system
  • Compassionate release
  • The special rules that make it possible for some minor drug offenders to get an extra year off of their prison time.

There is even a listing of Community Correction Manager offices with their addresses.

I'm Convicted and Going to Prison

If you didn't have a copy of Busted by the Feds while you were going through your trial, you really need one now!

It's not too late to protect your rights, and to do this you need the book that tells it like it is. Larry Fassler, the author of Busted, has spent over 20 years helping over a thousand inmates prepare appeals and motions in order to get reduced sentences, alterations and retrials. His hard-won knowledge and experience is recorded on every page of Busted by The Feds and made available to you.

Appeals and post-conviction motions are covered fully in Part I of Busted by The Feds and the whole of Part II (50 pages) is dedicated to all the issues of being in prison. The first issue you face is whether or not you should appeal, and how to do it.

On this issue Busted by The Feds is very clear "If you have been convicted after a trial, you should always appeal. If you pled guilty and were sentenced to more time than you think you should have received, or you got more time than you had been told you would get, then you should appeal. An appeal is the only way you can get another court to go back and see if your judge applied the guidelines correctly in your case. If you do not raise those kinds of issues in a direct appeal, you cannot raise them later in a writ."

A Notice of appeal must be lodged within 10 days of your sentencing.

Busted even has forms inside, like the one shown here for a Notice of Appeal, and another for a 2255 Motion--the habeas corpus procedure to ask the court to set aside or alter your sentence. These forms can be photocopied and then filled out, following examples given in the book, to mail to the court. Busted explains the differences between the two procedures, and explains when to use each of them.

There is even a worksheet in the book you can fill out to determine which prison you will go to based on your offense classification. There are listings of mailing addresses for inmates in all Bureau of Prisons facilities and all the prison phone numbers, as well as pages of information about B.O.P. offices and facilities – even maps of the different B.O.P. districts

The following topics are covered in the book:
  • General information about the Bureau of Prisons and Doing Time
  • Appeals and Writs
  • Protect your P.S.I. ! ! !
  • P.S.I. Reports & Your Prison Visiting List
  • Protecting your legal paperwork and records
  • Good Conduct Time
  • Prison Transfers
  • Drug Treatment Programs & Early Release
  • Supervised Release
  • Computers in the Bureau of Prisons
  • Probation and Supervised Release Violations
  • Collateral Consequences (of imprisonment)
  • Immigration and Deportation
  • Treaty Transfer Prisoners

You will also find addresses and listings of:
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons Central & Regional Offices
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons Facilities
  • Minimum, Low, Medium & High Security Facilities
  • Community Corrections Management Offices
  • Mailing Addresses for Inmates in Federal Prisons
  • Regional Maps of the B.O.P.