Federal Sentencing: Maximizing Client Outcomes From the Investigation to Post-Sentencing
Created on May 17, 2016
Ninety-seven percent of charged criminal cases in the United States are resolved via guilty pleas, and the vast majority of the remaining cases, those which go to trial, also result in guilty verdicts. Thus, as the United States Supreme Court stated in Lafler v. Cooper, the criminal justice system has become "for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials." Whether one is convicted via a guilty plea or after trial, counsel will need to address complicated issues surrounding the imposition of sentence.
This webcast focuses on sentencing in the federal system and addresses key components of that process, beginning with the negotiation of the plea agreement, then the guilty plea, the interactions with the Probation Department, the court, the Bureau of Prisons if the client is sentenced to jail time, and the potential collateral consequences of conviction. What we hope viewers will take away from the course is that advocacy on behalf of clients begins from the very first moment a lawyer is retained, and continues throughout the representation, with every person and entity involved in the process.
I. Recognize the need to focus on sentencing from the very beginning of a case
II. Explore drug or alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and family circumstances with the client, which may lead to reduced sentences
III. Understand the importance of retaining experts to analyze loss in white collar cases
IV. Know the plea and sentencing practices in the particular jurisdiction and how the details of a plea agreement can drive sentencing outcomes
V. Learn the key role of mitigating factors in an "advisory" federal sentencing regime
VI. Deal with the probation officer throughout the process
VII. Review sentencing submissions to ensure they are carefully written with consideration of who the judge is
VIII. Consider appropriate prison placements for court recommendations
IX. Understand the sentencing of corporations and its impact on future business operations
X. Prepare for potential collateral consequences of a conviction, including professional licensure, deportation and debarment from government contracting
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