Federal Sentencing Guidelines | Penalties | Criminal Defense

Most white collar criminal investigations, if they result in an indictment, are federal in nature. a conviction for a white collar crime can have enormous legal, personal, and professional implications. potential federal prison sentences and restitution amounts are more severe than similar charges in state court. sentencing issues in white collar cases are extremely complex and require a thorough understanding of the united states sentencing guidelines (ussg).

united states sentencing guidelines

the united states sentencing guidelines were created by the united states sentencing commission. The commission attempted to eliminate the disparity in sentencing for the same crime in different courts across the country by establishing factors that are applied to calculate what is called the felony level. the level of the offense is used, along with an estimate of your prior criminal history, to establish a range of guidelines on the sentencing table.

This is a grid showing potential sentences in prison months. guidelines used to be mandatory; that is, the judges had no discretion to sentence outside the ranges of the sentencing table. In 2005, in United States v. booker, the supreme court held that the ranks were no longer mandatory.

Now, judges have to do a preliminary guideline calculation of criminal history and crime level. There are, however, other factors to consider under a statute entitled 18 U.S.C. article 3553 (a). Those factors are:

conviction penalties in federal court

Conviction of a federal crime will generally result in harsher penalties (and fines) than similar cases in state court. This is because federal crimes fall within the US. uu. the sentencing commission’s voluntary sentencing guidelines that often call for extremely harsh prison terms.

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Although the sentencing guidelines are not binding on the judge, federal judges impose sentences within the range of the guidelines nearly 50% of the time, in addition to the fines imposed, the court may order you to reimburse the federal prosecutor the cost of your prosecution.

Some of the penalties that could be imposed on those convicted of the crimes listed above include:

  • Money Laundering – If you are convicted of being involved in a money laundering scheme, you may be ordered to pay twice the value of the money laundered (up to $500,000) and be sentenced to serve a prison sentence based on any underlying crime accompanying the money laundering charges (such as charges of business corruption, securities fraud, or drug trafficking): [18 u.s.c section 1956].
  • tax evasion: a maximum fine of $100,000 for any individual, and $500,000 if the defendant is a corporation, and/or up to five years in federal prison.
  • bank fraud: a fine of up to $1,000,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to 30 years
  • mail and wire fraud: both carry a maximum sentence of imprisonment of up to 20 years. if the scheme also involves a bank, the potential fine increases to $100,000: [18 u.s.c. section 1343]
  • securities fraud: the court may order a large fine based on the amount of money fraudulently obtained and/or a maximum term of imprisonment up to 25 years in prison: [18 u.s.c. section 1348]
  • health care fraud: a fine proportional to the value of the amount of services fraudulently received (or claimed) and a prison sentence of a few years to life imprisonment. prison.
  • bankruptcy fraud: Up to five years in prison, forfeiture of assets, and dismissal of fraudulent bankruptcy petition without permission to refile.
  • Firearms Offenses: Penalties can range from one to 30 years in prison, depending on the nature of the crime. fines can be between $1,000 and $10,000: [18 u.s.c. article 924].
  • kidnapping: a prison sentence of 25 years to life, and if the victim dies, the court may impose a death sentence: [18. u.s.c. section 3559].
  • child pornography: Depending on the circumstances of the crime and whether you possessed the images with the intent to distribute them or created the images that were later distributed, punishments may include a fine of up to $250,000 and a sentence of five to 30 years in federal prison: [18 usc sections 2251 & 2252]
  • drug trafficking: from five years to life depending on the severity, the amount of drugs in possession and the number of times previously convicted of crimes of drug trafficking. fines can range from a few thousand dollars to millions if several associated drug dealers are part of an ongoing criminal enterprise: [18 u.s.c. section 841]
  • sex tourism (U.S. citizens or permanent residents travel between states or abroad to have sexual relations with a minor): depending on the circumstances of the crime, if you are convicted of these crimes, you could face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to 30 years in prison: [18 usc sections 2423; 2425 & 2426].
  • trafficking in persons: depending on the actual age (and number) of minor victims being transported, and the purpose of the transport by the suspect, imprisonment sentences can range from 10 years to life in prison, along with a large fine (also relative to the number of victims and purpose of transportation): [18 u.s.c. article 1591].
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