Downward Departures Under the Sentencing Guidelines

Downward Departures – Cooperating with the manWho is responsible for a downward departure?

After being charged with a violation of federal law, there many legal and factual factors that drive the outcome of your case. Three of the most crucial parties are your attorney, the judge who oversees your case, and the Assistant United States Attorney who is prosecuting your case. Two ways to secure the best possible outcome are convincing either the judge or Assistant United States Attorney to accept the legal and factual conclusions of your attorney.

Understand there is little leniency in federal court. A federal judge must sentence an offender within a range set by statute. The only ability of a federal judge to move outside of the proscribed range is when a federal judge finds mitigating or aggravating circumstances that were not taken into consideration by the Federal Sentencing Commission. A federal judge is not likely to risk the political backlash associated with standing out by going against the federal sentencing guidelines.

What are not grounds upon which the government will lighten the penalties against you?

Another way to reduce the harshness of a sentence is to request a downward departure. Race, sex, national origin, creed, religion, socio-economic status, lack of guidance as a youth, drug or alcohol induced crime, a defendant’s aggravating or mitigating role in the commission of the offense, accepting responsibility, entering a guilty plea, or the fulfillment of restitution are not grounds upon which the judge will grant a downward departure.

How can I get a downward departure?

One of the most readily available ways to receive a downward departure is to cooperate with the government. To secure this type of downward departure the Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting your case has to ask the court for the departure. Then after evaluating a number of factors that include the usefulness, timeliness, and reliability of the information, the court has the discretion to impose a lesser offense.

If you are facing a federal criminal charge and need the best federal lawyers on your side call on Guest and Gray Law Firm’s federal criminal defense team. Our defense lawyers understand how to make the federal sentencing guidelines work for you and how to get the best outcome in your case. Call today for a free confidential consultation.

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