There are a whole host of factors that judges and prosecutors look at when dealing with federal criminal cases and giving lengthy sentences. One of the biggest, obviously, is whether you've committed a crime that has a mandatory minimum.
For example, there are certain theft offenses that a 2-year mandatory minimum if it's aggravated. Also, there are certain drug crimes, that if you have enough of the drug, there's a 10-year mandatory minimum.
There's a number of other situations where mandatory minimums apply.
Obviously, one of the biggest things you want to do if you're facing one of these mandatory minimums is either win the case at a jury trial, or if you can't win the case, then usually your best course of action is to cooperate with the government.
Cooperation with the Government
By cooperating with the government, if you're successful, if you give them substantial assistance and they agree, they can get rid of the mandatory minimum, and you'll be facing a much shorter sentence. Some people simply say, I cannot do that, either:
- I'm not going to cooperate because I don't want to risk anybody finding out and my life will be in danger, or,
- I simply don't have the information to cooperate.
Many say even if I wanted to, I don't have anybody to give information about and I really wouldn't be very helpful to the government.
If any of those are the case, so be it, but then you're going to probably have to swallow that mandatory minimum.
Just because you get the mandatory minimum, doesn't mean that the judge will stop there You could get the mandatory minimum plus additional time tacked onto the back of your sentence, so obviously, you want to get a very good criminal defense attorney to represent you.
Another aggravating factor that can cause you to get a lengthy is if any enhancements apply to your crime. For example, in a theft crime, if you steal over a certain amount of money, they can add additional time onto your sentence.
In sex crime offenses, mandatory minimums can apply, and obviously, there's also aggravating factors that can apply to give you a more lengthy sentence. In addition, they're going to look at your criminal history:
- Do you have a criminal record?
- If so, what is it for?
- Does it relate to the current offense?
That criminal history is another crucial factor when the judge evaluates the sentencing guidelines as they relate to you.
So, you can obviously see, there's a number of ways to get a lengthy sentence in a criminal case. They're also going to look at what you did.
The federal government is going to file the case based on what information they have that you committed a crime.
Then they're going to offer you a plea agreement, which is probably going to be based on what type of offense you've committed and what aggravating factors apply and whether or not you have a criminal history.
So, if you've got a federal criminal case and you don't want a lengthy sentence, pick up the phone.
Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I've been doing this for almost 30 years. I know how to handle federal cases. I know how to put the pieces in motion to get you the best result.