philadelphia appeals lawyer

How A Federal Sentence Can Be Reduced

When people are found guilty of a crime in federal court, a judge will determine their recommended sentence. The range of sentencing is determined by using the United States Sentencing Guidelines. It is possible to get a federal sentence reduced. Even if a person is sentenced and there isn’t a mandatory minimum sentencing requirement, there are ways for a person to get their sentence reduced. The arguments need to be made at the time a person is being sentenced by a judge.

General Mitigation

A federal judge can reduce a sentence if there is an existence of mitigating circumstances. These are circumstances that include any reason a crime shouldn’t be considered serious as the guideline range utilized. It could also involve the characteristics or history of the defendant that makes a reduced sentence appropriate.

Fast Track

The reduction in sentencing here is based on expeditiously pleading guilty. This will relieve the government from the time and expense associated with litigating the case.

Duress and Coercion

In this case, a defendant may be eligible for a reduced sentence if they committed their crime because they were under significant duress or coercion.

Criminal History

It is possible to get a reduction of a federal sentence if there was an over-representation of an individual’s criminal history. In these situations, a person has very old convictions or their previous convictions are not as bad as their current criminal history category. This makes it possible for a sentence to be based on a lower criminal history category.

Diminished Capacity

A person could get a reduced sentence if they committed their offense when they were experiencing serious reduced mental capacity. This reduced mental capacity must have been a major contributing factor to the commission of the crime. It will not apply if a person was voluntarily using alcohol or drugs.

Aberrant Behavior

This sentence reduction could be available if a person has committed only one crime of limited duration. The crime they committed was done with no significant planning. It also is a significant deviation by the defendant who otherwise has a history of leading a law-abiding life. A person to be eligible for this must be in the lowest category of criminal history.

Substantial Assistance to the Government

This type of reduction can happen either before or after an individual is sentenced. It is based on a person providing significant information to the government. This can also happen when they provide another service that is a big assistance to the government as part of an investigation. It is a reduction that usually requires a motion from the government to verify that the important assistance occurred.

A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can make many arguments for the reduction of a person’s federal sentence. The ability to use different reduction requests as well as variances will depend on the facts of a case. A criminal attorney in Philadelphia PA will know how best to proceed to obtain the best possible result.