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Creating Leniency in Texas Federal Sentencing

 Posted on October 13, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Forth Worth criminal defense lawyer Facing sentencing on federal criminal charges in Texas is daunting. However, an experienced Texas lawyer can help with strategies to argue for the most lenient sentence possible under federal guidelines. Advanced sentencing advocacy can make the difference between years in prison versus probation for your client.

Negotiating for Downward Departures

A key strategy is negotiating with prosecutors for a downward departure motion. Grounds like substantial assistance to authorities, limited participant role, and coercion may justify a reduced sentence. Your lawyer can leverage the defendant’s cooperation, evidence of minimal involvement, or unique circumstances to secure a departure request. This shifts sentencing leverage in your favor.

Detailing Mitigating Personal Factors

Sentencing memos allow the defense to highlight mitigating factors of the defendant’s background and character. For example, emphasizing educational achievements, steady employment, charitable deeds, family obligations, or mental health or addiction struggles can humanize the defendant. Portraying the person versus just the crime persuades judges to show greater leniency. Supporting letters from family, friends, and employers can help with claims.

Verifying Guideline Range Calculations

Scrutinizing the presentence report for any inaccurate guideline calculations is vital. Disputing any inflated offense level, criminal history score, loss amount, or other mistakes anchors sentencing discussions to the proper lower range. This sets the bar favorably before arguing departures.

Proposing Alternatives to Incarceration

Where appropriate, an attorney can propose alternatives to imprisonment, such as home confinement, community service, rehabilitation programs, or split sentences blending jail and probation. The goal is to demonstrate ways the defendant can still be punished without severing family or career ties.

Appealing to Judicial Discretion

It is important to remember that while the guidelines carry significant weight, judges ultimately have wide discretion when it comes to sentencing. A compelling case can be made to convince the judge to stray from the calculated range if they believe it seems unjust or simply too severe. 

Pointing out disparities compared to similar state cases or sentences received by co-defendants can highlight reasons why a lower variance may be warranted. The key is creating forceful yet respectful arguments that appeal to a judge’s inherent authority to exercise leniency when they deem appropriate. 

Contact a Fort Worth, TX Criminal Defense Attorney

Do not attempt this type of case by yourself or hope for the best without getting legal guidance. Work with a Tarrant County, TX criminal defense lawyer to follow the proper steps. Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. at 214-544-0061 for a free consultation and see what the next step you should take today.

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