Fervent Advocacy for Defendants Facing Long Terms in the Federal Penitentiary
When you are convicted of a crime in a federal court in New York, your future may be determined by the expertise and experience of your federal criminal defense attorney in navigating the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”). Although the penalties indicated by this harsh sentencing scheme are no longer mandatory, federal judges are required to start from the sentencing range indicated by the Guidelines. While federal judges now have discretion to make a downward adjustment below the minimum indicated by the Guidelines, most judges on the federal bench have operated under this sentencing scheme for their entire tenure as judges, so they are loathe to deviate from past practices. This fact makes it imperative that you be represented in a federal sentencing hearing by experienced federal criminal defense attorneys.
Why You Need a New York Federal Sentencing Lawyer
At Greco Neyland, PC, we explain the complex federal sentencing rules that apply, along with the many exceptions and factors that can result in an increase or decrease in your sentence under the Guidelines. We prepare a detailed sentencing memorandum, so we can communicate our client’s unique story in the context of the statutory factors the judge must consider, referred to as “3553 factors” because of their inclusion in 18 U.S.C. § 3553. These factors include the following:
- The background of the defendant;
- Probability of recidivism;
- Defendant’s character;
- Seriousness of the offense; and
- Circumstances of the crime.
The skill of your criminal defense attorney in persuasively presenting evidence relevant to these factors is extremely important because parole in the traditional sense is not available in Federal Court. If you retain a criminal defense lawyer who spends all of his or her time in State Court, he or she may be less adept at navigating the complex sentencing criteria used in Federal Court. New York federal crimes lawyers Jeff Greco and Dustan Neyland regularly represent clients in the Southern District and the Eastern District Federal Courthouses. This experience, along with their time as former prosecutors, has equipped them with the ability to obtain downward Guideline departures and Booker variances, identified as such as the result of the Supreme Court case that established these variances (U.S. v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005)). We have an intricate understanding of the Guidelines and their commentary, as well as critical knowledge about subsequent case law that may be used to ease the sometimes draconian impact of harsh federal sentencing.
Supreme Court Decisions Permitting Deviation from Federal Sentencing Guidelines
When the Guidelines became effective on November 1, 1987, the penalties indicated under the sentencing scheme were intended to be mandatory. The United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Booker signaled a potential shift in federal sentencing. The Court ruled that the Guidelines were advisory rather than mandatory. This decision opened the door for federal judges to consider mitigating factors about a defendant’s background and the circumstances of the offense that judges were not previously permitted to consider.
Unfortunately, the impact of the Booker decision initially was somewhat limited because most federal judges had spent their entire time on the bench applying the Guidelines, so they were hesitant to deviate from the indicated sentencing. This tendency was reinforced by the fact federal appellate courts imposed strong presumptions against sentencing departures that fell below those indicated under the Guidelines.
The flexibility of federal judges to deviate from the Guidelines increased following the United States Supreme Court decisions in Kimbrough v. United States and Gall v. United States. The Court ruled that a federal sentence that deviated from the Guidelines was not presumptively unreasonable. These decisions, along with the Booker decision, have opened the door for judges to adopt a downward departure under the Guidelines or a Booker downward variance based on non-guidelines factors.
New York Federal Sentencing Law Firm
Whether you are facing the prospect of federal charges or you have already been convicted of a federal offense, you need to understand that federal judges will still use the Federal Sentencing Guidelines as their starting point. Further, most federal judges who have used this sentencing scheme their entire career when imposing federal sentences almost never deviate from the range of prison terms indicated under the Guidelines. When you are facing the prospect of a 5 year, 10 year, or 20 year mandatory minimum term, or more, you need experienced federal criminal defense attorneys with a proven record of effectively arguing for reduced sentencing in Federal Court.
However, our first priority at Greco Neyland, PC is not reduced sentencing. We are criminal defense trial lawyers who are prepared to persuasively argue for your freedom and future. We will analyze the facts in your case to expose weaknesses in the federal prosecutor’s case. This may include seeking exclusion of illegally obtained evidence, exposing inaccurate witness testimony, suppressing incriminating statements, or otherwise challenging police conduct and the sufficiency of the evidence.
Our federal criminal defense attorneys are ready to use all of our legal knowledge, litigation resources, and experience fighting for your liberty. For your convenience, our offices are located close to the Southern District Federal Courthouse and the Eastern District Federal Courthouse. Please call us today at (914) 358-9146, or click here, to schedule your free consultation.