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Federal sentencing guidelines, what you should know

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense

The federal sentencing guidelines are a set of rules that define the punishments for specific crimes in New Jersey and the rest of the United States. These guidelines can be found in the United States Code, Title 18 and are used to determine what sentence a person should receive if they receive a conviction on a federal crime. The federal sentencing guidelines provide courts with an objective standard for deciding punishment for criminal offenses.

These guidelines serve as a resource for attorneys, policymakers, and other legal professionals who need information on how the federal criminal justice system typically punishes a specific crime.

What are federal sentencing guidelines?

Federal sentencing guidelines provide judges with recommended punishments for offenders convicted of federal crimes. The guidelines consider the severity of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and other aggravating or mitigating factors to arrive at a suggested sentence. While federal judges are not required to follow the guidelines, they are generally binding.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines were created in 1984 to bring uniformity and fairness to sentencing in federal courts. The creation of the sentencing guidelines was a controversial move. Some argue that the policies have led to harsher punishments for some offenders. In contrast, others believe that they have helped to make sentencing and criminal defense more consistent across different courts. Whatever one’s opinion, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines remain a vital part of the federal criminal justice system.

Deterring serious offenses

Federal sentencing guidelines provide an important framework for ensuring that people convicted of federal crimes receive fair and equitable treatment. These guidelines help to ensure consistency in punishment across the country and deter individuals from committing serious offenses. There is a great deal of complexity involved in federal sentencing, which only demonstrates how crucial it is for everyone involved to understand the guidelines before taking any action. Understanding the basics can make a world of difference when it comes time for sentencing.