Career Offender Enhancement
Federal sentencing carries a reputation of being harsher than its criminal court counterpart in the State system. While both jurisdictions impose mandatory minimum penalties, Federal court’s sentencing scheme generally involves longer terms, steeper minimums, and enhancements that are easier to meet by the government. Career Offender is a sentencing enhancement that allows for no discretion for imposition by the prosecutor or judge. Rather, when a judge must sentence in consideration of career offender, the rules change, far from the benefit of the defendant. Once the enumerated prior convictions are on your record, thereby classifying you as a career offender, you will be subjected to draconian penalties that can be life altering for not just you, but those who care for you. No case is lost at the charging stage, and that follows suit when an enhancement is available. If you are concerned about receiving a career offender enhancement due to your prior history, it is vital that you discuss your situation with a tenacious and knowledgeable Tampa federal crime attorney. Jason Mayberry believes in providing a zealous defense to each of his clients. Mr. Mayberry may be able to counsel and represent you when a prosecutor seeks a career offender enhancement.Lawyer to Defend Against Career Offender Enhancement in Tampa
Your past criminal record can affect your federal sentence for a felony. First, your criminal history will be taken into account when a judge calculates the applicable Sentencing Guideline. Additionally, your prior conviction for a drug crime can trigger a mandatory minimum sentence for a new federal drug conviction.
There are four goals for sentencing under the federal Comprehensive Crime Control Act: retribution, education, deterrence and incapacitation. A defendant’s past record of criminal behavior is believed to require harsher sentencing, should an individual be back before a criminal court for subsequent bad acts. The law considers an individual to be more blameworthy if there is a record of prior criminal behavior, rather than if an individual has little or no criminal history. For that reason, criminal history bears out on potential sentence and in turn, most courts impose harsher penalties on those frequent flyers in the system.
In making its decision, the court will consider how likely recidivism and future criminal conduct are in your particular case. When someone repeatedly commits crimes, it suggests to the court he or she has limited likelihood of successful rehabilitation. Under the career offender enhancement, it is more likely that an extremely harsh sentence involving a long term in prison will be imposed. A good attorney makes a difference to criminal sentencing.How is a Sentence Enhanced for a Person Deemed a Career Offender?
A sentence for a career offender can be enhanced in two different ways:
- Your criminal history category can be increased to level VI, which is the highest criminal history classification.
- Your career offender status may increase the offense level with which you’re charged.
You’ll be designated as a career offender if all of the following are true:
- You were at least age 18 when the federal crime for which you’re being sentenced was perpetrated.
- The felony for which you are being sentenced is a drug crime or a crime of violence.
- You have at least two prior felony convictions for either a drug crime, a crime of violence, or a combination of the two.
In most instances career offender status will drastically increase your offense level, inserting an arbitrary number rather than a calculation based upon drug amount. Automatically your criminal history category goes from a category based upon individualized criminal history, delicately considering the timing of priors, to a level six, the highest under the sentencing guidelines.
If the maximum statutory sentence possible is life, the offense level automatically becomes a 37, calling for 360 months of imprisonment on the low end of the guideline. Accordingly the offense level declines based on maximum sentence in the following fashion:
|25 years or more -||offense level 34|
|20 years or more, but less than 25 years -||offense level 32|
|15 years or more, but less than 20 years -||offense level 29|
|10 years or more, but less than 15 years -||offense level 24|
|5 years or more, but less than 10 years -||offense level 17|
|More than one year, but less than 5 years -||offense level 12.|
Seasoned Tampa federal drug crimes lawyer Jason Mayberry may be able to represent you if you are accused of Federal drug trafficking. He actively represent those from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, Hernando or Polk Counties in our local federal courts. He is admitted to practice before the federal Middle District of Florida, federal Southern District of Florida, along with state court. Call the Mayberry Law Firm at (813) 444-7435 or complete our online form.