20 Apr 23

What Are the Federal Sentencing Guidelines + Chart 2020?

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Last Updated on: 5th August 2023, 07:52 pm

Understanding Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Achieving Consistency and Fairness with Spodek Law Group

Federal Sentencing Guidelines are the strategies utilized to convict individuals who have committed a federal crime. In 1987, these guidelines were implemented, aiming to ensure consistent and fair punishments for convicted criminals. Before this, the sentencing of a federally convicted criminal was at the discretion of the judge, which resulted in significant disparities between judges’ rulings. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines’ purpose is to eliminate inconsistency in sentencing and provide a uniformed method for judges to decide on the sentence of a convicted criminal. At Spodek Law Group, we have an unwavering understanding of the law and extensive experience in handling legal situations that involve Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Attorney Todd Spodek and his team will help you navigate through its complexities.

Ensuring Equal Punishment
The disparity of judges’ rulings was the driving force behind forming Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Judges were giving longer or shorter sentences for people convicted of similar crimes in another judge’s court. These guidelines come in handy by helping federal judges convict someone who has committed a federal crime without disparity while providing them with consistent guidelines when determining how long a convict should serve in prison.

How Federal Sentencing Guidelines Work
Federal judges use a sentencing table that directs them on suitable sentencing ranges for every crime based on two factors: severity level and criminal history category.

Severity Of The Crime
There are 43 offense levels listed under these guidelines; thus, higher offense levels indicate more severe crimes leading to lengthy prison sentences such as felonies.

Criminal History Of The Convicted Person
Accordingly, offenders who have ever been previously convicted should receive longer prison sentences compared to first-time offenders since each time an offender is re-convicted they get one point added up until their total points determine their criminal history category.

Using The Sentencing Table
Once federal judges determine both factors mentioned above, they can use the sentencing table to determine the number of sentences that should be imposed. The offensive level categories are listed on the left side while criminal history records are listed on top.

Criticisms of Federal Sentencing Guidelines
While these guidelines have an ultimate goal of ensuring consistency and uniformity when sentencing perpetrators, some defense lawyers may negotiate around them creating disparities in sentencing between those who follow the guidelines and those who find them unjust. Additionally, reviewing and revising their terms is an expensive and time-consuming exercise.

In conclusion, Federal Sentencing Guidelines play a crucial role in ensuring consistency and fairness in convicting individuals. At Spodek Law Group, we understand how complex legal situations involving these guidelines can be; thus our team of experienced attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Attorney Todd Spodek so we can fight for you.

Federal Sentencing Table

| Offense Level | Severity Of Crime | Sentence Length |
| 1 | Lowest | 0-6 months |
| … | … | … |
| 43 | Highest | Life Sentence |

“At Spodek Law Group, we believe every client deserves justice. Schedule a consultation with Attorney Todd Spodek today so we can help you achieve it.”