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Reducing Your Criminal Sentence

DefRights

It is common to hear that an individual “worked with police” in order to receive leniency during sentencing. While the idea of “working” with the police may be a bit of a misrepresentation, it is common for individuals to have a lesser or reduced sentence because of useful information they provide police. The exact nomenclature of this process is known as providing substantial assistance to law enforcement. This can be used in both federal and state court to reduce the length of a prospective or current sentence. In order to to be eligible for this benefit you must help law enforcement with the prosecution of another individual. In certain cases you may even receive a sentence lower than the federal minimum sentence regulations.

Substantial Assistance 

In the event that a convicted felon or a defendant has information regarding another individual’s criminal activity, the state or federal prosecutor may choose to accept this information in exchange for a reduced sentence. Whether or not a deal is made is normally up to the prosecutor’s perception of how “substantial” the information truly is. There are not requirements or standards for exactly what substantial assistance is defined as, therefore, it is at the prosecutor’s discretion to determine whether they believe the information provided will suffice. In order to begin the process the individual must notify the prosecutor that they have information that may be beneficial to an ongoing investigation or case. This is done through the individual’s criminal defense attorney; indeed, an attorney will help the defendant work with the prosecutor to reach the best deal for the given situation.

The Agreement 

During the substantial assistance process, the individual hoping to receive a reduced sentence will proffer. This means that the individual must detail a full and complete account of the illegal activities that they are aware of. During the proffer, it is critical that your criminal defense attorney is present to ensure things are proceeding smoothly and according to plan. Your attorney will ensure you do not further implicate yourself in a crime and ensure that the information you provide is complete and in adherence with the prior agreement between the individual and the prosecutor. This process should be approached methodically and with great care, since there are an abundance of things that can go wrong if the proffer is not done correctly.

Reach Out to Us for Help Today

If you have been accused of a crime or convicted of a crime it is important to know that help is out there. A knowledgeable attorney can often find a positive outcome in even the direst situations. If you are facing criminal prosecution, contact the Baez Law Firm in Orlando today. You will receive effective counsel and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you are being defended an experienced team. Do not proceed through the criminal process alone and let your freedom go to chance; call 800-588-BAEZ for a free consultation.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0900-0999/0921/Sections/0921.186.html

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