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Does a PSR go off the number of drugs in the plea deal or the number found at the scene?

Austin, TX |

I have a federal sentencing coming up with regards to marijuana. They found X number of plants. I plead guilty to a charge of 50 plants in the plea deal. I keep reading about the original amount found to be "relevant conduct" on the internet. 50 plants vs the number found would be a dramatic difference in the PSR. I would like to know which number the pre-sentencing report goes off of.

At the end of the plea deal it has a summary of the "raw" find that lead to the plea deal.

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The purpose of the Plea Agreement's reference to 50 plants is to set the statutory penalty parameters: pursuant to 21 USC Section 842(b)(1)(C), you may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 20 years. However, you actual sentence will be determined in significant part by your advisory US Sentencing Guidelines range, which will be determined by the District Court's consideration of all of the facts and circumstances of the offense, including "relevant conduct" pursuant to USSC Section 1B1.3. Relevant conduct is considered to be "all acts and omissions committed, aided, abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, procured, or willfully caused by the defendant; and in the case of a jointly undertaken criminal activity (a criminal plan, scheme, endeavor, or enterprise undertaken by the defendant in concert with others, whether or not charged as a conspiracy), all reasonably foreseeable acts and omissions of others in furtherance of the jointly undertaken criminal activity...." Obviously, this definition is broad, and except in extraordinary circumstances, it likely will include all of the plants seized in your case.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.


The PSR will go off the number of plants actually found; that's the number that will be used to calculated your sentence under the guidelines absent some deal to the contrary. You can't get more than the statutory max for 50 plants, though, even if your guidelines are calculated based on the 5000 (or however many) plants they actually found.

Answers are for informational purposes, not legal advice for your specific situation.


federal sentencing is much too involved to give a simple answer to your question. Make sure you thoroughly discuss all of this with your lawyer until you completely understand what's happening.


You really need to discuss this issue with your criminal defense lawyer.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.


There is no set formula by which the PSR determines the number of plants, or the amount of drugs in particular case. The number may be set by agreement between the defense attorney in the prosecutor's office, or it could be based upon relevant conduct. Sentencing federal court when a drug case will typically be based on the amount of drugs that was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant during the time that he or she was involved in the offense.

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