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Crime Outside Heartland of Guideline

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Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorney


If your conduct was atypical and outside the heartland of the guideline, we may be able to get you a lower sentence than the mandatory minimum.

As your federal criminal lawyer in Los Angeles, we will thoroughly and carefully look at all the details of your case and determine whether the sentence being imposed is too harsh for the criminal conduct you are being charged with.

Determining whether the defendant’s conduct was outside the heartland of the Sentencing Guidelines is within the discretion of the district attorney. The Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) is to consider the nature of the offense in conjunction with other factors such as defendant’s individual characteristics.

A 2002 federal case, U.S.v. Parish, 308 F.3d 1025, the defendant was granted an eight-level downward departure in a child porn case because the defendant’s possession of the photographs was outside the heartland of the much more serious criminal conduct the typical pornographer engages in, according to a psychiatrist. In another case,U.S. v. Thompson, 315 F.3d 1071 (9 th Cir. 2002) a downward departure was denied because the defendant not only possessed but also distributed child pornography.

To determine whether a downward departure should be granted the district court looks to: features of the case that make it unusual; whether the ground on which the court is contemplating a departure is encouraged, discouraged, or even forbidden; if the factor not mentioned at all in the Guidelines, then the district court must determine whether to warrant or not.

This is where we step is as your defense attorney. We will argue all facts to your benefit and do everything we can to get you a less harsh sentence then what the Sentencing Guidelines impose for the crime you are being charged with.

Our law firm will fight to get you the best results possible to get. We are determined and persistent in fighting for our clients.