There is much more involved in a criminal sentence than a mechanical application of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to an adjudicated crime.
Since January 12, 2005, when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Booker v. United States that the United States Sentencing Guidelines are advisory rather than mandatory, there are a multitude of personal and offense characteristics that can be considered by the courts in imposing a sentence. Since then, there are and have been many situations where the courts have varied or departed greatly from the Guidelines. An offender can now receive a downward departure or a discretionary sentence for a multitude of reasons other than providing “substantial assistance” to the government and avoid a mandatory minimum sentence.
Quite often there are diversionary programs, which may be available to eliminate or minimize a term of incarceration. Community Correction Centers (Halfway Houses) and Residential Drug Treatment Programs may also be available which can be an alternative to prison or can substantially reduce a prison sentence. Additionally, courts can now impose sentences that involve split sentences, staggered sentences, intermittent sentences, home confinement, time served followed by supervised release, probation and halfway houses rather than just a lengthy period of incarceration in a prison.
A complete and accurate background history as well as an evaluation of the circumstances surrounding your crime may provide the sentencing judge with the basis for a substantial downward departure from the initial Federal Sentencing Guideline level.
Our trusted team of attorneys, professional sentencing consultants and investigators provide a thorough and detailed analytical and factual investigation to determine the availability of any and all methods to reduce a term of incarceration or eliminate a prison sentence altogether. They work closely with you, your family, our attorneys, medical and other professionals to develop a comprehensive presentation to the United States Probation, the Court and the Bureau of Prisons.
From the time of indictment, the alleged offender should know the applicable sentencing guideline level for the charges as well as all possible enhancements, adjustments and upward and downward departures and potential sentencing variances. This range will be a large factor in determining how long a defendant will spend in federal prison. Our consultants analyze the indictment, the facts of the case, the Sentencing Guidelines and the alleged offender’s unique circumstances in order to determine the most likely sentencing guideline range.
Prior to agreeing to a plea, it is imperative that the defendant and our attorneys know with precision the amount of prison time that can and most likely will be imposed. We completely and thoroughly evaluate the proposed plea from a sentencing perspective so that the defendant can make an intelligent and thoughtful decision.
On November 30, 2009 in Porter v. McCollum, the US Supreme Court held that failure to investigate mitigating factors prior to sentencing can be a Strickland violation and hence a 6th Amendment violation. We are available to assist with that required investigation.
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