Generally, when imposing sentences for crimes, the courts are bound by the sentencing guidelines. They may issue sentences at the high or low end of the guidelines, however, and in some instances, they can deviate from the guidelines. The courts will consider numerous factors in determining an appropriate sentence but have the discretion to assign greater weight to some factors than others, as demonstrated in a recent Florida case in which the court rejected the defendant’s assertion that his sentence for gun crimes was unreasonable in light of his personal characteristics. If you are charged with a weapons offense, you may face serious penalties, and it is advisable to confer with a Tampa gun crime defense attorney about your possible defenses.
Factual and Procedural History of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant, who is a convicted felon, was arrested for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon following a shooting at an apartment complex and a high-speed chase. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge against him pursuant to a plea agreement in which the government agreed to recommend that the court impose a sentence at the low end of the guidelines range.
Reportedly, a United States probation officer prepared a presentence investigation report in which he offered recommendations for the defendant’s sentence. He made a series of increases based on the nature of the defendant’s offense and the defendant’s extensive criminal history; based on the total offense level and criminal history, the probation officer calculated the sentencing guidelines range to be 84 to 105 months in prison. The court sentenced the defendant to 96 months in prison, and he appealed. Continue Reading ›