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Your Role in the Offense

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Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorney


Downward Departure – Role in the Offense

Your role in the offense may be a mitigating factor to get you a lower sentence
Depending on what role you as the defendant took in a criminal offense, our Los Angeles Federal Defense Attorneys may be able to get you the minimum sentence for the offense you are being charged with.

If you only had a minimal participation in the criminal conduct then you may be eligible for a 4 level decrease. If you were a minor participant in the criminal activity you may be eligible for a 2 level decrease. In cases falling between (a) and (b), you may be eligible for a 3 level decrease.

In the case of U.S. v. Koczuk, 166 F.Supp.2d 757 (ED.N.Y.2001), the District Court held that a downward departure was warranted on the basis of minimal role and minimal participation in the criminal conduct. The defendant’s rehabilitive efforts, combined with other factors, were also a basis for a downward departure. Defendant was being charged with five counts of importing caviar but convicted of only one count because defendant’s role in the conspiracy was minimal and bore little correlation with the $11 million operation of importing caviar. Defendant’s role was driver and interpreter. Therefore, due to his role in the offense, a downward departure was warranted.

Using your role in the offense as a mitigating factor has limited constitutionality, but something that the court still takes into consideration. That is where we step in as your Los Angeles Federal Criminal Defense Attorney and if applicable to you, prove to the court that the proposed sentence for the crime you are being charged with is unconscionable in ratio to your involvement in the crime.

In the case U.S. v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, the court’s decision was that the Sixth Amendment right to jury trial requires that, other than a prior convictions, only facts admitted by a defendant or proved beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury can be used to determine a sentence. The maximum sentence a judge may impose is a sentence based upon the facts admitted by the defendant or proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, ‘role in the offense’ being one of those facts admitted.

If you are facing sentencing for a federal crime, getting a lower sentence than what the court is trying to impose is our goal. Our federal defense lawyers aggressively fight on your behalf and we do everything we can to get you the best possible results.

Your role in the criminal conduct you are being charged for may have been so minor or possibly so insignificant that it would be unjust to impose anything above the mandatory minimum sentence.

Do not waste any time and call the Hedding Law firm and set up a free face to face consultation and we will start discussing your case and preparing for your case!

Protection of your legal rights is our top priority!