If a skilled and experienced attorney is important before and during trial, then such an advocate is absolutely essential if a defendant is convicted. Sentencing typically occurs at a separate hearing other than the one in which the verdict is returned. In long or complex cases with multiple defendants, it can be months after a conviction that the defendant is actually sentenced.
In determining the appropriate sentence to impose upon a convicted defendant, judges have a good amount of discretion, but are bound by certain laws and heavily influenced by others in making the decision. First, the judge will look to the statute itself for any mandatory sentencing ranges. Next the judge will probably look to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. While the Guidelines are no longer mandatory, they are heavily used in federal courts for guidance on appropriate ranges of punishment and whether the situation warrants a downward departure. Finally, he will see if there exists any other reason to impose a higher or lower sentence than recommended. This is what is referred as a “variance.”
It is crucial to have an experienced professional advocate at a sentencing hearing. It is equally important that the lawyer be an expert in antitrust law, so that he can make all possible arguments, from legal to policy matters, for a downward departure or variance. The professionals at Parkman White, LLP have years of trial experience, and though they rarely encounter sentencing hearings for their own clients, they are often hired by convicted defendants to represent them at sentencing. Contact the offices of Parkman White, LLP now for a free consultation.