What are federal sentencing guidelines?

What are Federal Sentencing Guidelines?

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are numerical guidelines (months in prison) formulated in order to assist the Court in determining your sentence if you’ve pled guilty or been found guilty at trial of a Federal crime. The guidelines are advisory meaning they are not mandatory meaning the Court doesn’t always have to follow them.

If you have a Federal criminal case it is extremely important that you contact a Federal criminal lawyer who understands the complexities of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and how they apply to your case. The reason that you need an experienced Federal criminal lawyer who understands the guidelines is because in the large majority of cases the court’s still used the guidelines in determining your sentence.

The guidelines are somewhat of a merging of how bad your crime is with your past criminal history. The guidelines have adjustments for your role in the offense and for how the offense was committed meaning that your sentence could go higher or lower if the Judge applies certain adjustments to your base level offense. The guidelines allow for reductions in your sentence for your acceptance of responsibility and sometimes your lack of any significant prior record.

The guidelines are not for a beginner lawyer or a State Court lawyer. They are highlycomplex. In fact, there are guideline experts who make a living as a consultant for the guidelines. It is very important that you hire a lawyer who knows the guidelines and is experienced with them.

Written by

Ray Lopez has practiced since 1990, with prior experience as a Hillsborough County assistant State attorney and lawyer for the Tampa Police Department. He handles all criminal charges, from traffic violations and misdemeanors to serious felonies and federal drug charges. He practices in all state and federal courts of the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida, as well as criminal appeals, juvenile court, administrative hearings, and civil forfeiture proceedings.

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