Federal Sentencing

Federal sentences are imposed in months, not years. The sentence a person faces is listed by range. A person’s sentence range is determined by two factors: the offense level for the crime they are convicted of, and their criminal history category. In order to appropriately determine a sentence range, a complete list of prior criminal history is needed. For criminal history calculations, any offense within 15 years of the current charge, may count for criminal history category purposes.

The offense level for any offense is statutory and may be found in the Sentencing Guidelines manual, or other code. For drug offenses, a Drug Quantity Table is used.

A person’s sentence range is the cross point of their Criminal History Category, and Offense Level. The sentence range is only suggestive of the sentence that a person may face. Federal Judges are no longer required to follow the Sentencing Guidelines.

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