In the United States an individual can be charged with a state crime, a federal crime, or both. The federal criminal justice system operates in much the same way as the individual state criminal justice systems; however, there are some noticeable differences. For example, the federal system tends to be much more formal than many state systems. One aspect of the federal system that is not found in all state systems is the use of sentencing guidelines. If you have been charged with a federal criminal offense, become familiar with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Topics in this report include:
- Sentencing Before the Guidelines
- The Creation of the Guidelines
- The Guidelines are Not Mandatory
- Offense Levels
- Criminal History
- Determining a Sentencing Range
- Upward and Downward Departures
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