Federal Crimes Blog

How to Get a Short Sentence in Federal Criminal Case

Posted by Hedding Law Firm | Mar 22, 2021

If you're charged with a federal crime, you obviously don't want to go to prison for a long time. Probably one of the biggest factors that will get you a short sentence is if your attorney can convince the judge that you're not a threat to the community and you don't deserve to get a lengthy sentence.

There are a number of what we call downward departures which can be used to help you.  For example, in your family circumstances, if you cooperate with the government you can get a 5K departure which can take your sentence down significantly, if you can be classified in a criminal history 1, that's a great way to help get a lower sentence.

Downward Departures

If you can avoid mandatory minimum related to your offense, that's another good way to avoid going to federal prison for a long time.

How to Get a Short Sentence in Federal Criminal Case

Other downward departures that can apply relate to you being a minor player in the case and therefore, getting levels knocked off your sentence.

There's a whole host of different things that a good criminal defense attorney can use to get you the shortest possible sentence.

Your best bet is, when you meet with somebody like me, who's been doing this for 30 years, give me all of the accurate information.

Don't hold back pertinent information just because you think it might hurt you in the criminal case.

Eventually, it's going to come out.  You want your attorney to know before the case begins so they can be prepared to deal with it, get around it or, even sometimes use it to your advantage.

Primary Factors for a Short Federal Sentence

But when you're looking to get a short sentence if charged and convicted of a federal criminal case, you should be looking at the:

  • sentencing guidelines,
  • what your base offense level is,
  • what you end up having to plead guilty to,
  • whether any aggravating factors apply,
  • whether any mitigating factors apply,
  • whether or not there's a mandatory minimum.

These are all things that relate to whether or not you're going to get a short sentence of whether you're going to get a long sentence.

Also, there may be some things that the government doesn't know about related to you that can be used to help you.  That's why I have you come in, we sit down, we go over everything and we really parse out all of the mitigating factors.

We look to downward departures that can be used to save you years in prison, such as acceptance of responsibility will take off three levels right from the beginning.  There's a whole bunch of downward departures but they don't apply to every single case.

It depends on who you are, what you were accused of doing, and how good your defense attorney is at defending you and pointing out all the factors that make sense to you.

What if you have a family that you support and a business, and you need to make sure that you make money for your family?

Criminal History

These are all things the judges will take into consideration in conjunction with what you did in the case, what your criminal history looks like, and how effectively your attorney can portray you, who you are, and what you're looking at moving forward.

federal criminal defense lawyers

Really, these judges want to make sure that they punish you because you've committed a crime, but also, they're going to look at whether or not you should be given a chance because you've got a lot of good things going for you.

You've done a lot of good things in your life, and whatever it is you're being accused of is an aberration that is not likely to happen again.

So, if you're being charged with a federal crime and are worried about a lengthy sentence and trying to get the shortest sentence possible, pick up the phone.

Set up a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you.  We'll go over your entire case. We'll lay everything out, and we'll come up with a reasonable plan to get you in the best possible position.

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Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about Federal Criminal Defense issues in Los Angeles and Encino California. We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.