What is Federal Sentencing?
“Sentencing” is the legal process through which courts impose punishment on a convicted defendant. In the federal criminal system, sentencing is a complex area of law that is governed by statutes, rules, cases, and the Constitution.
To learn more about federal sentencing, please read the following:
- The Sentencing Process
- Federal Sentencing Guidelines
- Federal Sentencing Safety Valve
- Federal Sentencing Reductions
Our Approach to Federal Sentencing
Not every attorney takes the same approach to sentencing. Some view sentencing almost as an afterthought–as a routine task not deserving of any more effort than a request for a continuance. That is not our approach. We view sentencing as one of the most important parts of a client’s legal representation. We believe this is especially the case when, statistically speaking, an overwhelming majority of defendants facing federal criminal charges will be convicted of at least some of the crimes they are charged with.
We begin preparing for sentencing early in the process, often months before the client is scheduled to be sentenced. We spend significant time interviewing the client, as well as any witnesses who may be able to provide mitigation testimony for the client at sentencing. We instruct the client on how to gather character letters to submit to the judge at sentencing. We diligently research the law and consider all possible arguments for a low or probationary sentence.
In our sentencing practice, we also consider the possibility of retaining expert witnesses, if such testimony may be potentially applicable in a given case. For example, in a white collar case, an expert may be helpful to establish that a client’s conduct did not cause significant financial loss to the victim(s). For another example, if a client suffers from mental health issues, an expert may be able to testify about these issues to explain or mitigate the conduct.
If you have been convicted of a crime in federal court, you want the assistance of a seasoned federal sentencing attorney who can help you navigate the sentencing process, and who is willing to go the extra mile to fight for a lower sentence on your behalf.
Our Sentencing Successes
Our attorneys are seasoned trial lawyers, and we have a track record of winning cases at trial. However, it is a reality that in criminal cases, the vast majority of defendants are convicted, usually through a plea offer that “can’t be refused.” Thus, while we certainly treat “Not Guilty” verdicts as success stories for our clients, we believe we also achieve success for our clients when we obtain sentences that are lower than what the Sentencing Guidelines specify, or what the prosecutor asks for.
We have had many such cases of sentencing successes in federal criminal cases, including:
- Probationary sentence over government objection for client convicted of aiding and abetting illegal straw firearm purchases linked to violent crimes.
- Weekend jail sentence for defendant convicted of fraud in D.C. federal court where government was seeking years in prison.
- 180 month downward guideline variance over government objection in major drug trafficking case in the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.
- 18 months sentence for client convicted of embezzling millions of dollars worth of pharmaceuticals in Maryland federal court. Government sought 54 months of imprisonment.
If you need a federal sentencing attorney, you may contact our attorneys for a free phone consultation.