Federal Court Grants Significant Downward Departure In Child Pornography Sentencing
A Wallin and Klarich client was sentenced this week after pleading guilty to the distribution of child pornography. In addition to the penalties for distributing the materials, the client was facing enhancements for possessing approximately 700 images and 1,000 videos, distributing materials in exchange for something of value, and possessing sadistic images. The sentencing guidelines in federal court for child pornography offenses are extremely harsh, with a suggested minimum sentencing of 151 months and a maximum suggested sentence of 188 months. Child pornography offenders face sentences similar to sentences for attempted murder or committing lewd acts on a minor, even in cases with no allegations that any touching occurred.
United States v. Booker
Sentencing guidelines have gone from mandatory to advisory after a 2005 United States Supreme Court decision, United States v Booker. If our client pleads guilty, our focus is to present mitigation evidence to the judge in an attempt to convince them to sentence our clients outside of the sentencing guidelines, meaning a lower sentence in custody.
In this case, we provided the court with character letters from our client’s family and friends and provided mitigation showing our client had a difficult and abusive childhood. Our firm, Wallin & Klarich, directed our client to enroll and attend individual counseling to address his behaviors from issues with alcoholism and depression immediately after our client was contacted by law enforcement.
At sentencing, the judge agreed that despite the seriousness of the offense and the sentencing guidelines recommendation of a sentence from 151-188 months, that he would depart and sentence our client to 96 months in custody. This is over a third less than the bottom of the guidelines recommendation. Additionally, our judge recommended that our client attend an in-patient drug and alcohol program that could further reduce the time from his sentence. Although it was difficult for our client’s family to see him go into custody, they appreciated that our experienced attorneys were able to convince the judge to consider the significant mitigating factors and grant a substantial reduction of our client’s sentence.
Contact Walin & Klarich Today
If you are looking to hire an attorney for a federal criminal case, it is extremely important to find an attorney who has experience in handling sentencing hearings in federal court and experience with the federal sentencing guidelines. Contact Wallin & Klarich today to see how we can help you get the best possible outcome at your trial.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney to help you no matter where you are located.
Call our law firm at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 587-5954 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.