Ask a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney: Do Federal Judges Have to Follow Sentencing Guidelines?

Ask a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney: Do Federal Judges Have to Follow Sentencing Guidelines?It used to be that district judges had no authority to sentence a defendant to a term of imprisonment outside of the ranges suggested by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which are applicable to federal proceedings.

Today, district judges are expected to examine the guidelines and take them into account while sentencing, even though they are not legally required to apply the standards today. The right federal criminal defense attorney can help ensure your legal rights are protected. Contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 now for a free legal consultation.

The court must take into account numerous factors when sentencing

According to the Federal Sentencing Statute (18 U.S.C. 3553(a)), the court must take the following into account when considering the right sentence to impose on a federal defendant:

  • The type and circumstances of the offense, as well as the defendant’s background and traits
  • The justification for the sentence given to
    • Convey the gravity of the offense
    • Ensure that the offender receives just punishment
    • Provide sufficient deterrence against criminal activity
    • Safeguard the public from the defendant’s potential for future offenses
    • Effectively provide the defendant with the necessary medical care, correctional treatment, or educational or vocational training
  • The kind of sentences available
  • Any relevant policy declaration
  • The need to prevent unfair sentencing differences between defendants with comparable records who have been found guilty of comparable behavior
  • The requirement to make amends to any victims of the offense

Federal offense penalties

The consequences of a federal criminal conviction are severe and may alter the direction of your entire life. Even for similar conduct, the court typically imposes more harsher penalties and prison terms in federal proceedings than in state cases. This is why you need an experienced attorney to defend you.

Call us now with any questions

Do you have questions about how the sentencing process works? Do you need legal advice from an experienced federal defense attorney? Then we recommend you contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a free legal consultation.

Attorney Chambers is a razor-sharp, aggressive, yet compassionate attorney who takes the time to understand your situation. He uses his expert-level understanding of state and federal law to find the best possible way forward for his clients. Now is the time to stop wondering what might happen with your federal case and talk to an attorney who can help you.

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