Could I get Probation for a Federal Crime?

Posted on in Federal Crimes

chicago federal crimes defense lawyerFor many people accused of a federal crime, their most pressing and immediate fear is of going to prison. The reality is that most people convicted of a federal crime will serve some length of incarceration. Unlike state courts, federal courts are less likely to hand down a sentence of probation and more likely to send convicted people to a corrections facility. Generally, probation for a federal crime will only be available to those convicted of very low-level offenses and with minimal to no criminal history. If you have been charged with a federal crime, you will need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who can try to argue that a harsh prison sentence is not warranted. 

When is Probation Possible for a Federal Offense? 

Generally, when the statutory sentence for a given offense is six months incarcerated or less, a federal court may have the option of sentencing a defendant to probation without serving any time locked up. For offenses that carry sentences of more than six months, but less than a year, a mixed sentence of probation and incarceration can be ordered. Anything longer, and you are very likely to serve time in prison. 

Your criminal history is also a factor here. For those with no criminal history, judges may be more likely to consider probation where it is possible. First-time defendants typically have quite an advantage here. However, a very minor record, especially if it has been a long time since your last conviction, is not necessarily a complete disqualifier. Your attorney may still be able to make a case that probation is the appropriate sentence based on all the surrounding circumstances of your alleged crime. 

Can I Get Out Early on Parole if I Go to Prison?

Getting out of federal prison on parole before serving your full sentence can be difficult. While many state courts strongly disfavor incarceration and make liberal use of parole, this is not as true of federal courts. In most cases, those sentenced to federal prison will serve most or all of their sentence in custody. 

Fighting to reduce the length of a potential prison sentence is possible. After conviction, the sentencing phase provides your legal defense an opportunity to argue that you should receive less time than the offense you have been convicted of typically calls for. In some cases, alternatives to standard prison time, such as intermittent incarceration, may be a possibility. Your eligibility for these options will depend on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. 

Contact an Illinois Federal Crimes Lawyer

If you are facing federal charges, Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney may be able to put forth a strong case for you to receive less or no prison time in some cases. Our Chicago federal crimes attorneys are experienced at building powerful arguments to guard our clients against harsh sentencing. Call us at 312-629-0669 if you would like to schedule a free consultation. 




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