After conviction and before sentencing in federal court, there are several motions that can be filed.
Common post-trial motions include:
Motion for a New Trial – The court can vacate the judgment and allow for a new trial. This is rarely granted, but may be done “if the interest of justice so requires.”
Motion for Judgment of Acquittal – Court may set aside the jury’s verdict and allow the defendant to go free.
A few months after the defendant is found guilty, they return to the same federal judge to be sentenced.
The judge receives guidance and assistance from several sources in order to sentence a defendant. Congress has established minimum and maximum punishments for many crimes which the judge uses to craft a sentence. The United States Sentencing Commissions has produced a set of sentencing guidelines that recommend certain punishments for certain crimes while considering various factors. Further, the judge will look at a presentence report and consider statements from the victims as well as the defendant and lawyers.
The judge may consider a variety of aggravating or mitigating factors. These include whether the defendant has committed the same crime before, whether the defendant has expressed regret for the crime, and the nature of the crime itself.
Aside from the defending your innocence or negotiating a plea agreement, arguing for an appropriate sentence is perhaps the most important function of a federal defense attorney. It is defense counsel's job to minimize the aggravating circumstances and emphasize the mitigating circumstances, while also humanizing the defendant. If counsel does not do this, sentencing will be based on an aggravated PI (Presentence Investigation) report, and that report will follow the convicted individual throughout the criminal justice system and affect chances for parole and less restrictive custody.
A federal defense attorney can have a significant impact on the PI report by conducting a background investigation, working with probation and parole personnel in preparing the PI report, dealing with the victims, preparing and presenting a defense PI report, and making timely legal attacks on erroneous information presented to the sentencing authority. By vigorously representing their clients at the sentencing phase,federal defense attorneys can help ensure that their clients lives are not ruined by unnecessary and undeserved punishment.
The death penalty can only be imposed on defendants convicted of capital offenses – such as murder, treason, genocide, or the killing or kidnapping of a Congressman, the President, or a Supreme Court justice. Unlike other punishments, a jury must decide whether to impose the death penalty. Many states have stopped using the death penalty, though the federal government may still use it. The Supreme Court has found that imposing the death penalty on those under age 18 at the time of the crime or the intellectually disabled to be “cruel and unusual punishment” under the United States Constitution.
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One of The Most Ethical Lawyers I’ve Ever Known...
Let me start by saying I am extremely pleased by Mr. Devereux's work, professionalism, and devotion to his clients. He was very honest and never made any false promises about the outcome of my case nor did he try to seek compensation further than our initial contract. I initially consulted and even hired other experienced attorneys but nothing got accomplished. Mr. Devereux worked on my case for over six months and was able to get my case dismissed which I was told by previous attorneys was impossible. My husband and I are forever grateful for his great work!
Brillant & Informative Attorney
Michael came to us when we were in crisis and had just lost 500k in an internet wire fraud hack job by criminals. He lightened us up with good information and follows up. Just a really nice good guy and easy to talk too.
Internet Extortion Case
When I thought my case was impossible, Michael came to the rescue. His knowledge of internet forensics is beyond impressive. I cannot thank him and his team enough for all of their hard work.
Mr. Devereux and his firm did an outstanding job with understanding and handling my case. From the initial consultation on the phone, Mr. Devereux put me at ease that the situation could be taken care of. Let me just say that I'm not an educated man, but I do know how to treat people, and I know when someone has a good heart. I would like to personally thank Mr. Devereux for communicating with me constantly during the process, and for responding to my emails and/or phone calls in a very timely fashion. Thank you!!!!
Five Stars Isn't Enough...
When I had the good fortune to be represented by Mr. Devereux I was reminded that God does indeed work through others. I owe this man my life, literally. Everyone told me my case was hopeless, that I was a fool to take this to trial and this man had faith in me and his ability to give me a fair trial and ultimately an astounding new belief in humanity. Watching him in action was like watching a surgeon save a life.I believed he truly cared about me and my case. I can't thank him enough. Thank you Mr. Devereux!!
Super Lawyer beat the pants off the Prosecutor & the Judge-WINS unanimously in less than 40 minutes of Jury deliberation.
YES, I highly recommend Michael as a Super Lawyer. Michael took my case to the full jury trial because the issue was politically sensitive and he beat the pants off the Prosecutor. The prosecutor commented such and shook his hand at the end. Michael is a fact driven lawyer. He fights to WIN. Although the experience is troubling for anyone to have to go to court, Michael takes the burden away & off the client.
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