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Federal Criminal Sentencing Guidelines

Disclaimer: The tips in this presentation are general in nature. Please use your discretion while following them. The author does not guarantee legal validity of the tips contained herein. Criminal Defense Federal Lawyer NY Phone: 212-385-1961 /212-564-2440 Email:

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Rules that set a uniform sentencing policy for convicted Federal Defendants in the United States federal court system. This set of guidelines is the key to appropriately sentencing the accused for crimes committed.

Originally, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines were deemed as mandatory, however, the Supreme Courts decision in United States v. Booker 543 U.S. 220 (2005), found that the guidelines as originally constituted, violated the Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury.

The solution chosen was excision of those provisions of the law establishing the guidelines that made them mandatory standards. So, the guidelines have become discretionary; Judges may consider them, but are not required to adhere to their standards in sentencing decisions.

Additionally, there is a specific law that indicates whether the judge is to increase or decrease the recommended sentence by more than a certain percentage. In this case, a written letter must identify the specific reasons why they are departing from the sentence.

Federal Criminal Lawyer

The Federal Criminal Lawyer you hire should be familiar with all aspects of the law, as well as possessing intimate knowledge of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Without this knowledge, you could be relying on misinformation and misjudgement, which could hinder your decision to go to trial, plea, or co-operate with the government.

Factors Determining Sentences

The Federal Guidelines determine sentences based primarily on two factors: 1. The Conduct Associated With the Defense (the offense conduct, which produces the offense level) 2. The Defendants Criminal History (the criminal history category ) If the prior crimes were committed beyond a certain period of time, they may not be eligible to score against you.

For each pairing of offense level and criminal history category, the Sentencing Table, found in the Guidelines Manual specifies a sentencing range, in months, within which the court may sentence a defendant.

Contact Us:
Paul D. Petrus, Jr. New York Federal Criminal Defense Attorney The Empire State Building 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3601 New York, NY 10118 Phone: 212-385-1961 /212-564-2440