Federal Criminal Defense – United States Sentencing Guidelines
In handling any Federal Criminal Defense case, make sure that the attorney you select is educated on the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”). Unlike State practice, defendants are usually subjected to much more sever and lengthy prison sentences in the federal system and the USSG play a significant role in a defendant’s ultimate sentence.
When handling a Federal Criminal Defense case, the attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC make sure that our clients understand the impact the USSG have on their decisions to go to trial or resolve their case with a plea. Clients are sometimes confused when they are told that they are look at five, ten, twenty years or more. The United States Code outlines the sentencing ranges that a person faces. Typically ranges of punishments can be zero to five years zero to twenty and in some cases there are mandatory minimum sentences. Certain federal drug crimes can carry mandatory minimums.
The USSG’s are how a sentence is determined within the range set forth in the United States code. The USSG starts with a base offense level, then points are added and subtracted depending on the individual facts of a client’s case.
Ever since the groundbreaking decision in Booker, the USSG are no longer mandatory. in determining a sentence, a United States District Court Judge must look to the USSG to determine a defendant’s sentence, but they are no longer bound by the guidelines. Through the use of departures and variances a defendant could receive a significantly smaller sentence than the advisory guideline range.
If you or a family member is under investigation for committing or charged with a federal crime, please give us a call to discuss you matter.