What Happens During Sentencing in Federal Court?

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerIf you have been convicted of a federal crime such as embezzlement or a violation of The Controlled Substances Act, the next process you will face is sentencing. What happens during sentencing is incredibly important, as that is when the judge will tell you how much time you will serve in jail, or if you will serve any at all. There is a period of time between the conviction and when you receive your sentencing, and it is important to understand what will happen during that time. Below is an outline of the procedure that will take place before you appear for your sentencing hearing.

The Pre-Sentence Report

After your conviction, a probation officer will interview you. During this interview, they will ask about your family history, social history, education background, financial situation, and other various details about your life. They will then write a pre-sentence report.

Once the pre-sentence report is created, it is sent to the judge, the prosecutor, and your defense lawyer. After receiving it, you will have an opportunity to object to anything that is contained within the report. There are both big and small objections. A federal criminal defense attorney can advise on which objections are most important to make.

The Sentencing Memorandum

The sentencing memorandum is a very important document that you and your defense attorney will prepare together. It will include character statements from your family and friends outlining your most positive attributes. These statements will outline volunteer work you have done in the community if you are devoted to your family, if you are active in a church, and anything else that will highlight the fact that you are of good character.

These statements are meant to refute the allegations made against you. They typically also provide reasons why you should receive the lowest possible sentence.

The Sentencing Hearing

Once a judge has reviewed both the pre-sentence report and the sentencing memorandum, a sentencing hearing is scheduled. This is where you will hear the sentence the judge has decided to give you.

Before that happens though, the judge will also listen to arguments from your defense attorney. Your lawyer will make legal arguments, refute the statements made by the prosecution, and ask the judge for a low sentence. The judge will also listen to the prosecutor, who will undoubtedly make statements about why you deserve a harsher sentence. Lastly, the judge will hear from you. This is your chance to show remorse, state your innocence, or show the judge that you are just a good person in a bad situation.

After listening to these arguments, a judge will state their decision.

Have You Been Convicted of a Federal Crime? Call Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been convicted of a federal offense, you are likely very concerned about the future. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, our skilled Chicago federal defense attorney knows a conviction is not the end of the road, and it is possible to appeal. If you have not yet been convicted of a crime, but are facing charges, Hal Garfinkel also has the necessary experience to give you the best possible chance of beating those charges and retaining your freedom. If you have been accused of a federal crime, call us today at 312-629-0669 for your free consultation.


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