Federal Court Case Sentencing
After a defendant in a criminal federal case cooperates with the government to the government’s satisfaction, whether in the investigation involving the defendant or in the investigation of any other person, the federal prosecutor will send a letter to the sentencing judge affirming that the defendant has substantial assisted the government pursuant to Section 5K1.1 of the US Sentencing Guidelines. This document is referred to as a 5K letter. The sentencing judge will consider the letter and reduce the defendant’s sentence depending on the nature and the value of the defendant’s cooperation.
Defendant’s cooperation alone will not ensure the 5K letter. The government has total discretion whether to submit the 5K letter to the judge. A lot depends on the quality of the information provided by the defendant. For example, the defendant who provides information that the prosecutors can easily obtain elsewhere or who really doesn’t have any “big fish to sell” may never earn the 5K letter. Another example of the government’s refusal to submit the 5K letter is the cooperating defendant’s low value as a trial witness, particularly where the defendant’s credibility is problematic. This is known as a ”non-5K cooperation”.
Each Case involving the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the scenario is different. At the Weiser Law Firm we have represented numerous clients through these tough times from New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, St. Tammany Parish, St. Bernard Parish, and Kenner. Call our Law Office Today at 504-358-2273.
3801 Canal Street Suite 205 New Orleans, Louisiana 70119