Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Understanding The Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Created in 1984, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are used to create a sentencing range based on the crime committed, the prior criminal history of the criminal defendant and any other mitigating or aggravating factors. These ranges are no longer mandatory, but are considered "presumptively reasonable." The sentence actually imposed by the judge should be no greater than necessary to serve as punishment for the crime.

Having an attorney who understands the federal criminal charge process and how the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are applied can help you avoid spending more time behind bars than is necessary. At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, in Charlotte, our attorneys have decades of combined experience achieving successful results for our criminal defense clients. Contact our firm online or at 800-511-7869 to learn how we can help you.

Calculating A Federal Guideline Sentencing Range

Your federal criminal defense attorney should be confident in calculating the appropriate sentencing range related to charges for:

Your base level offense will establish the starting point for calculating your sentencing range. Any aggravating factors such as lying to police or mitigating factors, such as accepting responsibility for your crime, will be added (or subtracted) from your base level offense.

Your criminal history, if any, will be the final factor in determining the applicable sentencing range. There are six categories for prior criminal history that are determined based on any prior criminal convictions. Your defense attorney will arrive at a number that can then be translated into the appropriate sentencing range based on guideline charts.

The Presentence Report And Guideline Sentencing

Your attorney should review the presentence report (PSR) compiled by the Federal Probation and Pretrial Services office. The judge will use your presentence report to determine the applicable sentencing range for your crime(s). If there are errors in the presentence report, for example, you were not given credit for your cooperation, the suggested range may be higher than what you really should be facing for your crimes.

At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, we understand the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. We know how to apply the guidelines appropriately and how to object if the presentence report is incorrect. When it comes to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, experience counts.

Contact our firm online or at 800-511-7869 for a free consultation with our North Carolina federal criminal defense lawyers.

U.S. vs. J.R.
Charge: Mail Fraud (9 Counts), Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
Facing: Three years in prison
Result: One year, One day

Our client was convicted of nine counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The government alleged that our client fraudulently obtained more than $115,000 from her former employer. At the sentencing hearing, the Judge granted our motion for a downward departure, sentencing our client to one year and one day. The government had asked the judge to sentence our client to several years.