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Federal Prison Sentencing Guidelines

Jail Guide has made the calculation of a federal prison sentence easier using the charts and tables provided by the USSG and using the Jail Guide Prison Sentence Calculator.

How U.S. Federal Prison Sentencing Guidelines Are Calculated

For those of you wondering how the United States federal prison system would calculate your federal prison sentence look no further. Sure, a federal judge has guidelines they have to follow (click here to ask a criminal lawyer). But, one wonders how long their federal prison sentence may be for any particular federally committed crime?

Jail Guide has simplified the prison sentence guidelines using the tables and charts provided by the USSG

During our research we came across some interesting information on prison sentence calculations. We used information gathered from the United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSG). Further down this page we'll list the PDF for you to download... right now lets do some math; and please keep in mind that while these are rough guesstimates, it should give you a figure to work with. So, grab a pen and a piece of paper and lets get to work:

Get The Sentencing Guideline and Look Up Your Offense:

Step One

The first step is to get the USGS's latest sentencing guideline manual. You can visit USSG.gov or click here: USSG Federal Sentencing Guide to download the latest USSG version without having to dig. Ok now that you have the manual in hand go to the "Table of Contents" and look in Chapter Two : Offense Conduct for your crime group. caution though; DO NOT attempt to print because its a whopping 500+ pages!

Figuring Your Offense Level:

Step Two

Step 2 involves going to the page where your offense is listed. For instance "Embezzlement" offenses are located in Part B - Basic Economic Offenses Page 80. On this page will be the "Base Offense Levels" and then the "Specific Offense Characteristics". Start with the base number then work your way down the page. So if you are a White-Collar type who decided to move a little of the companies money your way... write these numbers down. The math here is to start with your base number and then (hopefully not) increase for any additional Specific Offense Characteristics listed. As an example, we'll say our White-Collar person tucked away a whopping $5000.00 - this would give them 6 Base points (with no adjustments).

Other Additional Adjustments:

Step Three

Now that you have your base number with any additional characteristics, its time to turn to Chapter Three : Adjustments. Starting on "Page 339", work your way down the list of "Parts A" through "Part E". The White-Collar type would scroll down the listing of Adjustments and annotate any additional levels that may pertain to the offense committed. There are other facets of this chapter that also allow you to deduct levels based on mitigating circumstances. We suggest you read through each and every portion to double-check. As well, ask your attorney and possibly probation officer for help with this portion if needed. Keep in mind, this is your life... do what you can to make it a longer one on the outside of the walls.

Criminal History and Criminal Livelihood:

Step Four

On to Chapter Four : Page 374 and we're almost done! This is the time to look back and reflect... are you a career criminal or career offender? If so this chapter will pertain to you. If you have any offenses committed this could possibly add time to your sentence. Once you have this figure written go to Step 5. You should now have 2 numbers; your Base Number (including adjustments) and your Criminal History Points. In the case of our white-collar friend we'll pretend they have no criminal history.

Determining Your Possible Prison Sentence:

Step Five

Its at this stage where you may start to panic, don't - these numbers are not set in stone and things can change. Lets get on with it then. You now have your numbers. For our example, our White Collar criminal has 0 Criminal History Points and 6 Base Points - so if we look up the chart on our Federal Sentencing Chart we'll see that the prison time for this person would be a maximum of 6 months.

As promised, here is the 2016 USSG DFederal Sentencing Manual and Guidelines: USSG Sentencing Guide2016 USSG Guide

Here is the 2016 Federal Sentencing Chart: 2016 Federal Sentencing ChartWe wish you luck with your search and look forward to any comments or suggestions via our contact form.

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