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U.S. Supreme Court rules in sentencing guidelines case

Among the things that can have big impacts in federal cases are the federal sentencing guidelines. These guidelines have major impacts on what consequences a person who has had federal charges brought against them would be likely to face if convicted.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in a case focused on the validity of certain provisions of these guidelines.

The case involved a man from Florida who was convicted on a gun charge. He had previous felony drug convictions. He was given an upped sentence for the gun conviction under federal sentencing guidelines.

The man challenged the constitutionality of the guidelines under which he received this sentence. Specifically, he argued that the provisions of these guidelines dealing with what crimes qualify a person for upped sentencing were too vague.

After hearing the case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the man’s arguments, upholding the guidelines.

Reportedly, had the court’s decision gone the other way, it could have opened the possibility for sentencing reductions for thousands of individuals sentenced under the challenged guidelines. This illustrates how impactful Supreme Court decisions regarding the federal sentencing guidelines can be. It also underscores how significant of a role such guidelines play in federal cases.

The federal sentencing guidelines are one of the many things unique to federal cases that it can be important to take into account when facing federal charges. Skilled defense lawyers can help individuals accused of federal crimes here in Missouri with addressing the special considerations related to federal cases.

Source: Boston Herald, “Justices decline to extend ruling on repeat offenders,” March 6, 2017

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