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Sentencing Guidelines in DC Federal Bribery Cases

In bribery cases, the United States Sentencing Guidelines are extremely important. Simply put, the judge, as well as both sides of a case, use these guidelines to establish an advisory guidelines range. An experienced lawyer could help to explain the sentencing guidelines in DC federal bribery cases and work tirelessly to receive a favorable outcome.

A number of factors may come into play in sentencing bribery cases. One is the loss amount, which may be the value of the benefits received as a bribe or the value of the thing that someone attempted to obtain through the bribe. The number of bribes and the role the person played are also important when establishing an advisory guidelines range.

Specific Sentencing Statutes

Sentencing in a bribery case in federal court focuses on the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which are a set of rules that were passed and promulgated by the United States Sentencing Commission to help judges establish advisory guidelines. After an advisory guideline range is established, a judge must take into account the various factors under the statute including:

  • The nature and circumstances of the offense,
  • The characteristics of the defendant,
  • Specific and general deterrents, and
  • The provision of needed treatment and services to a defendant

The United States Code identifies the prohibited activity and outlines the maximum penalties in terms of incarceration or a fine. The guidelines do not necessarily address the maximum penalty under the statute. Instead, they deal with what judges should consider when sentencing below the maximum penalty.

Appealing a Federal Bribery Sentence

The issue of whether a strict sentence in a bribery conviction can be appealed depends on the nature and circumstances of the case. When a client enters a plea agreement with the government, they waive their right to appeal a harsh sentence, except under particular circumstances.

This means that a person may only appeal their sentence if the judge goes above the highest number of the advisory guidelines range that was established. Similarly, the government may appeal if the judge goes below the lowest number in the established guidelines range. Other than that, there is typically no right to appeal a federal bribery conviction.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Sentencing guidelines in DC federal bribery cases might also involve a mandatory minimum sentence. However, the only mandatory minimum that might be involved in a bribery case is under the aggravated identity theft statute, which dictates that a two-year mandatory minimum sentence be imposed by a judge for a conviction.

If there is a related offense in a federal bribery case that has a mandatory minimum sentence attached to it, depending on the strength of the government’s case, a DC lawyer may try to eliminate that charge when working out a pretrial resolution to a case. Through investigation, the defense attorney may show that there are weaknesses in the mandatory minimum charge to persuade the government to drop it before trial.

How a Federal Bribery Lawyer Could Help

If you are facing charges for federal bribery in DC, you may need the help of a legal professional. An experienced attorney who understands the role of sentencing guidelines in DC federal bribery cases could work to mitigate the effects of your charge and preserve your future to the furthest extent possible.

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