United States Federal Prison Sentencing Information

Federal Prison Sentencing Information
Written By Rdap Dan

Federal Prison Sentencing Guidelines

United States Prison Consultants are people who help defendants at the criminal case stage and ensure that they are both safe and secure if they have to enter a prison. Federal Sentencing rules are complex set of numbers and rules that guide a judge when determining the amount of time a person should spend in a prison. And because the guidelines are more complicated, law schools have yearlong classes that specifically deal with criminal sentencing guidelines.

Prison Consultants like RDAP Dan help with sentencing guidelines and provide reports on possible reductions. They are also involved in offering psychological evaluations for clients and mitigating information with an aim of seeing a reduced offense level.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines: base offense level

A defender has to start at the base level. The actual sentencing guidelines are charts that you find online when searching for a sentencing table. The system starts with base offense level, which is a random number associated with the number of years a person would live in prison. A quick example, if the base level is 20, then you might do 33-41 months in a Federal Prison. And if the base level is 10, you might remain in a federal prison for 6-12 months. That comes before other things.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Criminal History Level

The legal systems base Criminal History Level on offense level. Therefore, as the history level grows, the time in custody increases. For instance, if your history criminal history score is 20 and the history level is  4, you would do around 40-51 months in a Federal Prison. The person to determine the Criminal History Level Score is the judge in your case – that is after all parties have made recommendations and the judge has seen the pre-sentence report. People who have prior felonies are likely to have higher criminal history score. People without any criminal history should have a criminal score of 0.

Federal Sentencing Guidelines Departures

Departures are deviations from the defendant’s offense level. A quick example: if your criminal base stood at 20, a departure of 2 would change your offense level to 18. The following are the commonest federal sentencing departures.

Safety Valve

Safety value is a form of departure that Federal Courts award to individuals with little criminal history or without any criminal history at all. The courts reserve it for all first time offenders. The Safety Valve has to be a departure of 2 from the defendants base offense.


Cooperation happens during Federal Court Processes. Mostly, it happens on cases related to drugs. The United States attorney proposes something known as proffer – a meeting to see whether you can provide them with anything that can help further prosecutions of unrelated cases. After the meeting, the United States attorney might award a departure known as 5K. The departure states that the individual was cooperative in the whole process and therefore deserves a departure in Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Acceptance of Responsibility

Acceptance of responsibility might be the easiest departure you will ever earn. When a defendant pleads guilty and does not deny it, they should receive Acceptance of Responsibility departure.  

Fast Track

Some federal courts do not offer Fast Track and it might not be available on every case. The form of departure is reserved for individuals who handled their case in a fast manner. Courts provide the departure to motivate defendants to avoid wasting government’s resources and time.

Federal cases are complicated and therefore most people consider hiring a lawyer. However, the problem is that the lawyer might be one of the federal defenders paid by the federal government or an individual who does not understand the guidelines.

Dan Wise prison consultant

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