Sentencing Court Representation

Nationally, 97.5% of all federal criminal cases end up in a sentencing proceeding. Since 2005, the federal sentencing process has evolved into the following three-step process requiring the district court judge to determine: (1) the Sentencing Guidelines range; (2) if there is a reason to depart from this range; and (3) what sentence is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to satisfy Congress’ sentencing mandate. Our firm is very knowledgeable as to how the Sentencing Guidelines should be properly applied to a case and frequently litigates Sentencing Guideline issues to ensure that our clients’ sentencing ranges are as low as possible.

After the Sentencing Guidelines are computed, the next stage of the sentencing process requires the district court to determine whether there are reasons for departure from the Guidelines range. The two most common issues presented at this stage are whether a client’s criminal history category significantly over-represents his criminal history and whether a client has been of substantial assistance in the “investigation and prosecution of others.” Our firm skillfully brings these issues to the district court’s attention either through a written motion or sentencing memorandum filed on behalf of our client.

The final stage of the sentencing process requires the district court to determine what sentence is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to satisfy Congress’ sentencing mandate. To help the court answer this statutory question, our firm will file a sentencing memorandum that is tailored to the facts and legal issues presented in our client’s case. The goal of the memorandum is to persuade the court that a downward variance from the Sentencing Guidelines range is appropriate.

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