When Florida residents face criminal charges, they usually want to know all of their legal options. Only when all options are clear can an accused individual make an informed decision about his or her criminal defense. One thing those charged with federal crimes may be interested in learning about is Rule 35(b).
Rule 35(b) is formally known as the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35(b). The rule allows a criminal court to give an accused individual a substantially lighter sentence if that individual cooperates with the government's investigation. A January 2016 report released by the U.S. Sentencing Commission lists three important facts concerning the rule that resulted from a review of cases from the last six years.
Nationwide, the rule is rarely used by criminal courts. However, it is reported that some courts use the rule more often than others. Most of the accused individuals who benefited from the rule were charged with drug trafficking. When the rule is used in conjunction with a departure allowed under the Substantial Assistance to Authorities statute in the federal sentencing guidelines, the greatest sentencing reductions were achieved.
If you were charged with a federal crime in Florida or elsewhere, you, too, may want to explore all options before deciding on your criminal defense strategy. To ensure no option is overlooked, many accused individuals seek the assistance of criminal law attorneys. These legal professionals will have the most up-to-date information on both state and federal law that could affect the outcome of your case, allowing them to provide the answers you need to ensure the best possible outcome for your situation.