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What is a Federal Downward Departure Sentence?

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Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer in Tampa, Florida

If you have been arrested for a federal offense and are looking at a sentencing hearing, you may be eligible for a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines. A sentencing hearing in federal court is a hearing where the judge determines what sentence to impose. Federal district court judges must consider the seven factors set forth by 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) in determining a sentence:

  1. the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;
  2. the need for the sentence imposed—
    1. to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
    2. to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;
    3. to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and
    4. to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner;
  3. the kinds of sentences available;
  4. [the applicable Sentencing Guidelines];
  5. any pertinent [Sentencing Guidelines] policy statement
  6. the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct; and
  7. the need to provide restitution to any victims of the offense.

Section 3553(a) requires a district court judge to assign a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary to comply with the purposes of sentencing.

Sentencing under Section 3553(a) therefore requires the judge to start with the minimum sentence permissible and add only so much additional punishment, if any, as is necessary to comply with Section 3553(a)’s purposes.

What Is the Basic Federal Sentencing Procedure?

After a defendant enters a plea of guilty or is found guilty by a jury, the judge will order a presentence report. A federal probation officer may interview the defendant, his or her family and friends, law enforcement officers or anyone with information concerning the nature of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant. The presentence report will provide the judge with the defendant’s prior criminal history and a recommenced sentencing range based on criminal history and a total offense score. The presentence report will also provide the judge with information concerning any minimum mandatory sentence. The government and the defendant will have an opportunity to object to the report before it is submitted for sentencing. A judge will usually sentence within the recommenced sentencing range but the judge can and sometimes does depart upward or downward, depending on a number of factors.

Why should I contact a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney?

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a federal offense and are anticipating a sentencing hearing, it is critical that you get the help of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. Federal sentencing is complex and requires the help of someone with experience and knowledge concerning this very serious process. An experienced federal criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you get a downward departure sentence and avoid a lengthy prison term.

Why Fernandez & Hernandez?

Fernandez & Hernandez can assist and guide you through the process. Federal sentencing is very serious and can be complex. Fernandez & Hernandez may be able to help you find a solution. If you need legal assistance with federal sentencing, call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez defends individuals charged with a misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida. With more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and hundreds of jury trials, Daniel earned tremendous accolades from judges, other lawyers, defendants, and even jurors. Daniel started his legal career as a state prosecutor and became the chief of the Narcotics division before opening his own law practice in 1985.

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Recent Reviews

Irene Meadows
Irene Meadows
21:56 11 Dec 19
If you need an attorney who is compassionate, knowledgeable and will be there every step of the way for you and your family during a difficult and challenging time in your life, you have made the right decision with Daniel Fernandez and his staff. Mr. Daniel Fernandez and his staff treat you like a member of their family. My husband and I would highly recommend you contact the law office of Daniel J. Fernandez. You will be glad you did.read more
A Google User
A Google User
14:27 11 Dec 19
Great Experience, attorney Daniel J Fernandez was extremely kind, and explained everything in great detail. The staff at the office was excellent! Great experience would recommend the attorney to anyone.read more
Luella Nelson
Luella Nelson
23:30 10 Dec 19
Attorney Daniel Fernandez My daughter was facing a few issues that was going to effect her for a very long time. I did not know which direction to turn or what to do. I googled 5 star attorney's and Mr. Fernandez's name displayed. I called his office and spoke to his paralegal Austin. He was very kind, understanding and gave me peace of mind just by speaking to me. I then met Mr. Fernandez shortly thereafter. This Attorney is very kind, compassionate, understanding and truly cares about his clients. His proven results were simply phenomenal. He basically saved my daughter from going away for a very long time instead she is going to receive some medical treatment and soon released with a short period of supervision. Afterwards Mr. Fernandez sat down with me and explained the out come and also has a plan for her moving forward. I know that each situation is different however this attorney not only has proven results he cares and looks for cures for his clients. If your in need of an attorney for any situation I suggest that you call Attorney Daniel Fernandez. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. -----Original Message-----read more
Joe Blanco
Joe Blanco
01:48 07 Dec 19
Daniel Fernandez is by far the best criminal defense attorney in the Tampa Bay area. I have used Mr. Fernandez for several years to help my son with several issues he has faced. He compassionate, informative, and reliable. If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer I highly recommend you to hire Mr. Fernandezread more
Anjeanette Blanco
Anjeanette Blanco
22:37 06 Dec 19
Daniel J. Fernandez has been my lawyer for 25 years and he is amazing! He is always available when needed and goes above beyond. His entire office staff is always friendly and helpful. I highly recommend Mr. Fernandez.read more
Nicole Tarantelli
Nicole Tarantelli
17:36 02 Dec 19
I am so pleased with the experience I had with everyone in their office. The service was excellent! Everyone was kind and patient. I mostly dealt with Austin. He did everything he said and always returned my calls the same day. I am incredibly grateful for all the hard work!read more
Cheryl Stinson
Cheryl Stinson
14:41 22 Nov 19
Daniel Fernandez represented us in a violation of probation in dade city'. He did a great job. Judge was going to sentence my friend to one year in jail .Mr. Fernandez argued for 60 days and hot the court down to 70 days .thank you for your help Mr.Fernandezread more
gilbert Lozada
gilbert Lozada
18:23 01 Nov 19
Great work Mr. Daniel J Fernandez he is very knowledgeable as a defense attorney I will Highly recommended his services to anyone.Thank youread more
stephanie santiago
stephanie santiago
18:13 21 Oct 19
Im so pleased with Daniel Fernandez. He was able to get my husbands case to go better than what we thought it was. Thank you so muchread more
Jose Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez
13:39 25 Sep 19
I don't have enough words to describe how amazing the experience with attorney Fernandez was. I could not have asked for better services. Attorney Fernandez was very professional throughout the legal process which resulted in a positive outcome. Thank you again attorney Fernandez for giving my family and me peace of mind.read more
Genesis Padilla
Genesis Padilla
04:22 12 Sep 19
Mr. Fernandez was absolutely amazing with our family’s case. Very genuine and intelligent. Austin was a pleasure to work with as well. We had a great experience overall, we were blown away by what he was able to accomplish so quickly.read more
Alex Gomez
Alex Gomez
15:13 14 Aug 19
I'm very satisfied with the services provided from Mr. Daniel J Fernandez. I was in a bad situation and contacted his firm. They were very professional and informative. They're very knowledgeable in the law and great at what they do. I would recommend them to everyone I know without hesitation. Mr. Fernandez and his firm are the real deal. Once again thank you.read more
D Serano
D Serano
01:21 18 Jul 19
Daniel Fernandez is an amazing lawyer! I have used a few times for a family member and I highly recommend! He knows his stuff, hes aggressive, a fighter, not afraid to try any case that comes his way!! He is honest and let’s you know what to expect from the moment you hire and until the case in closed!read more
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