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In a federal present sentencing report, does it pretty much tell you how many years you're facing?

76501 |

my son received a report and it said 7years, but he haven't went to court yet for sentencing. How much federal time will he have to do on that sentence. He had a mandatory 5years for one charge, and a mandatory 1 year for the other.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. I think you are referring to the "presentence report". This report will contain an analysis of the applicable sentencing guidelines by the probation department. The report is not in any way binding on the court, but often has a strong influence on the outcome, depending on the judge. Whether the mandatory minimums apply and whether other sentencing factors apply is something that the attorneys will argue with the judge. Your son's defense attorney is in the best position to give you an idea of what kind of sentence he may be facing. Speak to him or her about it. Without all the information, we can't even make a good guess.

    Law Office of Steven Brody | www. stevebrodylaw.com | (213) 290 5294. I am a CA federal and state attorney and this is just meant to get you started in looking for the right lawyer. This is not legal advice. No Attorney/Client relationship has been formed. I may or may not be licensed in your jurisdiction. Please consult an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for state specific advice.


  2. You ask several excellent questions. A Pre-Sentence Investigation Report in federal criminal cases is prepared by probation for the court to verify the defendant's background and to calculate the guideline range under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The Guideline range, although advisory and not mandatory, must be considered by the sentencing judge.
    The statute under which the Defendent was convicted must be reviewed to determine if mandatory minimum time in prison is required by the laws in question. Then the judge should consider all other factors that may indicate an increase or decrease in the sentence ordered.
    In answer to your first question, the PSIR is just the first step in the judge's analysis and it does not mandate(require) the judge to sentence the person as it indicates.

    The answer to your second question is a federal sentence is served at approximately 85% of the sentence ordered subject to the Bureau of Prisons calculation of "good time".

    The answer to your third question, is dependent upon if the statutes in question in this case require mandatory consecutive sentences or concurrent sentences. If mandatory consecutive sentences are required then the person must serve @85% of the first sentence followed by @85% of the second sentence ordered by the judge.
    Sentencing is not a simple matter, especially in the federal criminal justice system. The knowledge and experienced of the federal criminal defense attorney is critical in providing the court with all positive and mitigating factors for the client. This is what good attorneys do for thier clients, that is advocate for the best (least time in prison) sentence.

    Of course, every answer or response is based on the information provided in the question asked and requires a much more complete context than is available in this public forum. This answer/response should NOT be relied upon to make any legal decisions. Seek the advice of an experienced Federal and/or state criminal defense attorney in your jurisdiction BEFORE you say or do anything.


  3. Only the Judge knows. The court's probation department prepares the PSR to help guide the judge to decide under 18 USC 3553 what the sentence should be based on the individualized circumstances of the case. Here there should be at least a 5 year MM sentence unless some departure breaks the MM barrier opening the door for further argument of a downward variance. This can also go up from here depending on the evidence and the AUSA.


  4. The PSR presents the opinion of the probation department as to what the applicable advisory sentencing guideline range should be. Typically the United States Attorney and the attorney for the defendant also offer their opinions as to what the range should be. The court does not have to accept, and often does not accept, any of these recommendations. Typically it considers them all and then makes its own decision. And then the court must decide whether to sentence according to the guideline range or not. So the PSR can tell you a lot, especially if you already understand the federal sentencing system and can view it in context, but it is only one of many considerations.


  5. Do you know if he qualifies for any departure?

    The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response is for educational purposes only. I have not met with you and I am not knowledgeable about the specific details of your case. Each case is unique and different. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you contact and meet with a licensed criminal defense attorney to discuss your specific circumstances. In addition, an attorney-client relationship is not created by virtue of this response.

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