How much time will I serve on my federal criminal sentence?
When you’re charged in Federal court the percentages indicate that it’s likely you’ll enter a plea of guilty or that you’ll be convicted if you go to trial. This is not a statement of weakness, but it’s a simple statement of fact. That’s why you’ve got to get the best criminal defense lawyer that you can afford; the lawyer with experience, with knowledge, with savvy; a lawyer who really understands how the Federal courts work. How much time you’ll do? Hopefully none, but it depends on the sentencing guidelines, it depends on the way that you’re indicted and charged. It depends on the plea agreement that’s entered into.
There are so many factors that come into play, it’s impossible to answer how much time you’ll do without knowing a lot more details. Of course, one other factor is who the prosecutor is and who the judge is. Some prosecutors believe they’re on a mission from God in every case and they want maximum sentences, but many are reasonable, honorable, fair and good and they look at you and they look at your background and they look at the facts of the case and they make fair recommendations. Of course, a major factor, the major factor in addition to your criminal defense lawyer is who the judge is. There’s a big difference between a good judge and a fair judge and a very harsh judge. So it’s critical that you have a lawyer who understands the local players and the law and the facts and the procedure in your case.