Every federal sentence has now been impacted by United States v. Booker, 543 U. S.220, 226-27(2005), which held that mandatory sentencing Guidelines violates the Sixth Amendment. That consitutional infirmity has been cured by making the Guidelines advisory. Id. at 245. Subsequent Supreme Court decisions have clarified that a judge's choice in sentencing has been significantly expanded and opened the door for creative lawyers. For example, Gall v. United States, 552 U.S._(2007), found a probation sentence outside the Guidelines range was reasonable; Kimbrough v. US (2007) observed that courts may vary from the Guidelines based solely on policy considerations, including disagreements with the Guidelines; and Rita v. US (2007), permitted district courts to consider arguments that the Guidelines sentence itself fails to properly reflect 3553(a) factors. Nevertherless, Federal prosecutors are trying to do business as usual, taking the position that the sentencing guidelines are still the most important factor in sentencing, and acknowledging in passing that the guidelines are only advisory. CAUTION. You lose if your criminal defense attorney learns at your expense because your liberty is at stake! 

Criminal defense attorneys who are inexperienced in federal crimes should, at a minimum, seek out the local federal public defender's office for assistance and guidance in the area of sentencing. For defendants who feel they have attorneys who are too proud to get guidance from federal PDs or other experienced attorneys, remember that your freedom is at stake!

Though Hector Perez is in Southern California, he will represent clients nationwide in federal courts throughout the country. His office is at 523 West 6th Street, Suite 440, Los Angeles, CA 90014; tel no. 213-489-2310. He also has an office at 3020 Old Ranch Parkway, Suite 300, Seal Beach, CA 90740, tel. no. 562-799-5524. More information about Mr. Perez can be found at

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