Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Penalties if Convicted of a Federal Crime
Federal convictions are quite serious. It is important to know that unlike a state prison where you can get time off for good behavior, if you are sentenced to a certain term in a federal prison, you will serve at least 85% of that term unless you are given a pardon or your conviction is overturned.
Other than prison, possible penalties include loss of the right to vote, loss of the right to own a firearm or other deadly weapon, a monetary fine and/or parole. A judge may even order counseling. Plus, the conviction must be disclosed to future potential employers. It can be a long road not only during trial but during your prison term and even after you’ve served your time.
While the facts of the particular case will ultimately determine the punishment if you are convicted, some of the other factors that a judge will look at in determining a sentence include previous criminal convictions, mitigating circumstances such as whether you were present during the commission of the crime and even your character. As odd as it sounds, your sentence can also be increased because of your refusal to admit your guilt or your career choice (lawyers, politicians and law enforcement officials are held to a higher standard). On the flip side, letters of support, community involvement and the real harm you caused can also reduce the actual penalty.
Please note that the federal government has been very aggressive in prosecuting cases recently and has been pushing for maximum prison sentences whenever possible. That does not mean that if you are convicted you will receive the maximum sentence, but it does underscore the importance of having an experienced federal criminal attorney if you are charged with a federal crime. It is important to have someone on your side with experience and knowledge of federal criminal procedure and its nuances and intricacies.
The potential penalties are too severe to risk hiring an attorney who is not an experienced federal criminal attorney. In fact it is very common to hire a new attorney for just the sentencing phase of the case alone. Judges are bound by sentencing guidelines, but those guidelines are subjective and a smart, experienced attorney can often be the difference between jail time and probation. If you would like our help in finding an experienced sentencing attorney please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. All calls are free and confidential.
Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service, run by Illinois lawyers, to find an attorney or obtain guidance for any Illinois legal matter, including Illinois federal criminal cases. Please call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614 or fill out our contact us form and we will contact you. All inquiries are kept in strict confidence.