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What Every Criminal Defense Attorney Needs to Know About Federal Sentencing with Diane C. Bass
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Sentencing in federal court is based primarily on the federal sentencing guidelines. The Supreme Court in U.S. v. Booker made these guidelines advisory rather than mandatory in 2005. However, they are still the starting point for any sentence imposed in Federal Court. Among the factors considered by the guidelines is a person's criminal history. There is a complex system of calculating this category based on a number of points. The points are calculated depending upon the amount of time served and when it was served. Where state court practitioners might want to "max out" their client so they don't have any time hanging over their heads or to give them credit for actual time served, these sentences can come back to bite their clients if they are ever charged with a federal crime. Another issue to consider is that if a client is undocumented and they are going to be deported, their conviction will be used to increase their sentence if (when) they come back to the U.S., and if they are charged with another crime. These cases are referred to as illegal re-entry after deportation cases. Most state practitioners are not aware of these ramifications and as a federal practitiioners it is important to share this information.