Monday, September 30, 2013


The United States Sentencing Commission webpage has recently been updated with fascinating information for criminal defense attorneys as well as their federal clients. The information is divided into training material intended for defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges as well as a spotlight section on changes to the law and possible future changes to sentencing. 

The federal sentencing commission determines how to apply federal criminal law but also provides helpful advice to lawyers, prosecutors and even clients in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The spotlight section highlights new information on the recommended expanded safety valve provisions, federal minimum mandatory sentencing and a useful quick guide on minimum mandatory sentencing categories, triggers and exceptions useful in keeping the law handy for practitioners. To find the information just go to the webpage above, look for "spotlight" and keep clicking till your fingers hurt.

Besides the quick spotlight information, the webpage offers an extraordinary amount of new training material for lawyers, prosecutors and judges. Yet this information can be accessed by anyone, so the webpage should be helpful in directing clients toward relevant knowledge about federal sentencing especially if in the difficult position of being a possible target of federal agents, a person of interest in to a federal grand jury or party to any federal investigation. 

To gain access to this wealth of material simply go to the webpage above, click on "Education and Training" then click on "Guidelines Education Materials" and look under "Advanced Training Materials." Here's a summary of what you'll find:
 Loss Primer, March 2013, Victim Primer, March 2013, Drug Primer, March, 2013, Firearm Primer, March, 2013, Immigrations Primer, April, 2013, Sex Offense Primer, March, 2013, Sex offense primer & Failure to register cases, March, 2013, Aggravating and Mitigating Role Adjustments, March, 2013, Multiple Counts Checklist, Criminal History Primer, April, 2013, Departure and Variance, Primer, June, 2013
Also, if you have a client who has served in the military as is often the case in Tampa Bay, Florida use the new information listed on the webpage under the Military Service Departure under 5H1.11 which provides effective arguments in sentencing mitigation for a military veteran. The sentencing departure does not require that your client served in combat and provides a summary of the unique history in America criminal justice of recognizing military service at sentencing which could be useful arguments even in nonfederal Florida cases even where state law does not provide for leniency.

It's often difficult in federal cases for clients to come to grips with the overwhelming power of the federal government, the federal justice system and the hazards of federal sentencing. The sentencing information in the webpage may prove even more useful to clients than their criminal defense attorneys when seeking the latest knowledge about harsh Federal Sentencing Guidelines. 

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