Federal Sentencing Hearings Attorney
When you need a Federal Sentencing Hearings Attorney, things are serious. By contacting the office of Scrofano Law, P.C., you can get the help you seek. Call us!
Federal Sentencing Hearings Lawyer
Being arrested and charged with a criminal case is accompanied by many possible outcomes. For example, your case can go to trial, or a prosecutor can offer you a plea bargain.
The next step is a federal sentencing hearing if you entered a guilty plea or were found guilty by a jury. The federal sentencing hearing takes place at the federal court, where you enter a guilty plea or are found guilty of committing a federal crime by the jury.
The hearing usually takes place at least three months after the trial and is presided over by a federal judge. They review your case and consider various factors before deciding a suitable punishment for you, such as probation, fines, or prison time.
Your attorney is generally present at the hearing. Additionally, they go through the federal sentencing guidelines and use various defenses to argue a reduced punishment or sentence for the defendant.
Therefore, it is vital to understand federal sentencing guidelines and their importance during the hearing.
Federal Sentencing Guidelines
The federal sentencing guidelines give federal judges a range of punishments to apply to various criminal offenses. However, as the name suggests, they act as guidelines and may differ depending on the circumstances of each case.
The guidelines are also in place to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities. Although judges can deviate from the guidelines, they should have a good reason for doing so. The guidelines impose accountability for judges deciding the sentences.
A defense lawyer can use the guidelines to defend their clients so that they do not get extraordinarily severe punishments.
What Is a Presentence Investigation Report?
This report is prepared by a probation officer and is presented to the judge before the sentencing hearing. The report contains vital information that federal judges may review before sentencing a defendant.
If you are already in custody, probation officers will visit you to get personal information, such as your name, background, criminal record, and details of any addictions you may have. It also includes information regarding the impact of the crime on the victim. The judge uses all these facts to determine your punishment.
Your federal sentencing attorney also receives a copy of the presentence investigation report so that they can prepare an appropriate defense. If your attorney has any objections, the agents may make changes. The judge also hears oral arguments against the report before deciding on the appropriate sentence.
The Sentencing Hearing
The federal prosecutors get the first chance to speak during the sentencing hearing. Their job is to review the evidence and the defendant’s prior criminal charges to show the judge why the defendant should receive harsh sentencing.
The defense attorney also gets a chance to defend their client and demonstrate to the judge why the accused should receive a reduced punishment.
The defendant also gets the opportunity to speak to the judge and advocate a reduced sentence.
This hearing is crucial, and experienced attorneys prepare their clients on what to say or avoid saying when addressing the judge.
How Long Is a Federal Sentencing Hearing?
The length of the hearing depends upon the circumstances of each case. Before determining a federal sentence, the judge hears closing arguments from the federal prosecutor and the defendant’s lawyer. This means that depending on the severity and complexity of the case, a hearing sentence can take as little as an hour or even several days.
How Can a Federal Sentencing Attorney Help You?
The waiting period between the time you plead guilty and the sentencing may be challenging for you and your family. You may be anxious about the kind of punishment the judge will decide for you and afraid of receiving a harsh sentence.
An experienced federal defense attorney is what you need at this time. A lawyer will walk with you from the day you plead guilty to the day the judge determines your punishment.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can use the arguments enumerated below to defend you and show the judge why you deserve a lower sentence:
Cooperation with federal law enforcement
No prior criminal history
Minor participation in committing the crime
No involvement of weapons in the crime
No injuries or financial losses to the victims
You do not have to face a federal judge alone. An experienced federal sentencing attorney will defend and fight for you to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
Contact Scrofano Law PC
Scrofano Law, PC, is here to help you. Our attorneys have handled many federal sentencing cases, and with our resources, we can prepare a strong defense against the federal prosecutors’ arguments.
We go through similar cases and the presentence investigation report to identify various defenses we can use for you.
Remember that a federal judge has the discretion to determine your sentence in federal criminal cases. Therefore, having an experienced attorney who can defend against harsh punishment is in your best interest.
Contact us today for a confidential free consultation. Once we establish an attorney-client relationship, we can discuss your case and create an aggressive defense strategy for your federal sentencing hearing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Main Types of Sentencing?
The type of sentence a judge issues depends on multiple factors, such as the nature of the crime committed and its impact on the victims’ lives.
Common penalties include probation, fines, short or long-term incarceration, suspension, paying restitution to victims, and drug/alcohol rehabilitation.
What Are the Two Main Factors Considered Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines?
The first factor considered by the sentencing judge is the defendant’s criminal history. The criminal history of the defendant can make the judge lenient or harsh. For instance, first-time offenders mostly receive lighter sentences than repeat offenders.
The second factor is the conduct associated with the offense, which determines the severity of the offense.
What Is a Character Letter?
Friends and loved ones can write a character letter for the defendant in a criminal case.
It is essential to show the defendant’s good character traits and write a letter that paints the defendant in good light. These letters can potentially influence the court and may also impact the sentence the judge imposes. Therefore, they should be drafted very carefully.
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