If you plead guilty or are found guilty for any criminal offense prosecuted
in the United States Federal Court the next step in your case will be
to go through interviews conducted by the government as part of developing
their sentencing memorandum. This is an important document in your case
that is given to the judge to explain the government's position about
your case and how the sentencing guidelines should apply.
A significant part of the sentencing interview and memorandum will be
questions about your background. This includes your childhood, family,
education, medical and work history.
Often times in Federal Court cases the worst penalties faced by defendants
is not for the underlying offense but for lying or making misrepresentations
to law enforcement. This is not only a real risk during any proffer statements
but also in the sentencing interview.
If you are facing a Federal sentencing interview you should be aware that
everything you say is subject to be investigated and verified by the officers.
If you make any false statements you are subjected to lose any sentencing
points for cooperation that you may have been otherwise eligible for.
You also could face an additional sentencing enhancement for obstruction
of justice. Of course the judge also will now be more than inclined to
give you the maximum permissible under the guidelines, and may even entertain
argument from the U.S. Attorney to go above the guidelines.
Honesty is the best practice going through any sentencing interview. If
you have any concerns about your past history or questions that may be
asked you need to discuss them with your lawyer as early in your case
as you can.
Defense Attorney James Snell represents clients facing Federal Criminal
Charges in the United States Court for the District of South Carolina.
He is also admitted to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United
States Supreme Court. If you or a loved one is facing any Federal Court
charge contact his office to a confidential and no-cost consultation at