How do the federal sentencing guidelines work?

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Matt Kaiser, a Washington DC federal criminal defense attorney at The Kaiser Law Firm PLLC (http://www.tklf.com), describes how the federal sentencing guidelines function. The federal sentencing guidelines are one part of what a federal judge has to consider when imposing sentence - this video explains how this important area of the law works.

Federal sentencing procedure can be complicated. This video by Washington DC criminal defense See more +

Matt Kaiser, a Washington DC federal criminal defense attorney at The Kaiser Law Firm PLLC (http://www.tklf.com), describes how the federal sentencing guidelines function. The federal sentencing guidelines are one part of what a federal judge has to consider when imposing sentence - this video explains how this important area of the law works.

Federal sentencing procedure can be complicated. This video by Washington DC criminal defense attorney Matt Kaiser explains three things that the federal sentencing guidelines look to when they determine a suggested sentence in a federal criminal case.

If you'd like more information for people facing federal criminal charges, under investigation for a federal crime, or trying to appeal a criminal conviction in federal court, please visit our webpage at:

http://www.thekaiserlawfirm.com

If you'd like more information, you can read our blog - which describes every published opinion in a federal criminal appeal where the defendant wins - you can read it here:

http://www.federalcriminalappealsblog.com

Video Transcript:

If you are going to sentencing in a federal case because you have been convicted of a federal crime or because your loved one has been convicted of a federal crime, one of the things that the judge will look at is the federal sentencing guidelines. The federal sentencing guidelines were created by congress, they are issued by the United States Sentencing Commission and what they do is they try to set out a range in months for each kind of federal crime for each kind of person who commits a crime. They have really three parts.

First they look at the person criminal history so if the person being sentenced is never committed to crime before, they are criminal history category one if they have committed lots of crime, they are in criminal history category six and the punishments in months get longer if they have more criminal history. They look at this crime and so if you have committed bank fraud they look at every bank fraud case and they create an offence level for each kind of crime to try to show that bank fraud is a little bit less bad than murder but it's still more significant that other kinds of offenses.

And then there are a set of departures and adjustments to that guidelines range that can matter. If you plead guilty they take a few levels off the guidelines range, if you, if there were many, many victims they will add levels and so as you work through this book with your attorney that’s the basic framework, that’s the basic structure for how the sentencing guidelines work, it's important to remember the guidelines now thanks to the Supreme Court are not mandatory. The judge doesn’t have to follow the guidelines when imposing sentence but they are important part of what the judge will look at when the sentence is decided. See less -

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Topics:  Convictions, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Sentencing

Published In: Criminal Law Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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