Understanding the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984
If you’ve been charged with a federal crime, you may wonder what to expect in terms of sentencing. According to the United States Sentencing Commission, the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (SRA) sets seven factors for sentencing courts to consider:
- The essence and situation of the breach along with the history and tendencies of the defendant.
- The sentence should consider the four principal reasons for sentencing:
- The types of sentences that are accessible.
- The sentencing period is settled by applying sentencing guidelines and the kinds of sentences accessible under the criteria.
- Any applicable “policy statements” that the Commission announces.
- The necessity to get around unjustified sentencing disparities amidst defendants with comparable records that have been found guilty of comparable conduct.
- The responsibility to endow restitution to the victims of the offense.
The Five Types of Federal Sentencing
There are five different sentencing options for offenders with Class A misdemeanor cases:
- Probation or prison - if probation is granted, the utmost term permitted is five years. In the case of a felony offense, at least one year of probation is mandatory.
- Obligatory minimum sentences and being released from them - certain acts of misconduct require an obligatory minimum prison sentence, including:
- Drug-trafficking crimes that involve particular kinds and amounts of drugs
- Firearm use amidst a violent crime or drug-trafficking offense
- Illegal firearm possession by a felon following three violent felony convictions or severe drug-trafficking delinquencies.
- Monetary penalties - there are three principal monetary disciplines: fines, restitution, and special assessments, which may be demanded along with incarceration or probation. Fines may be demanded as an independent sentence when a statute does not mandate incarceration.
- Regulated discharge - in lieu of parole, Congress developed a regulated discharge for “post-confinement monitoring” designed to “facilitate the reintegration of the defendant into the community.”
- Apprendi and its progeny - the Apprendi v. New Jersey and its progeny Supreme Court case of the year 2000 made a noteworthy influence on the statutory framework that governs federal sentencing. The decision pronounces that the facts in which raise the punishment for a crime surpassing the stated statutory maximum shall be provided to a jury, and confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt or provided by the defendant in a guilty plea.
If you’ve been accused of a federal crime in the Miami, Florida area, you’ll want the very best representation possible. Attorney Joel DeFabio of The Law Offices of Joel DeFabio has over 35 years of experience throughout the United States against all types of federal charges. Don’t hesitate to contact us and start your case right away.
Call The Law Offices of Joel DeFabio today at (305) 851-5581 to speak with an attorney about your potential case.