Relevant Conduct Affects Sentencing Of Federal Criminal Cases
Relevant Conduct Affects Sentencing in Federal Criminal Cases
Unlike state sentencing, federal sentencing can use what is referred to as ‘relevant conduct.’ Relevant conduct refers to the motivation behind the crime, not the crime itself. Relevant conduct allows a federal court to consider the motivation behind the crime an individual committed. An effective attorney should be able to mitigate the use of the United States Attorney’s Office presenting relevant conduct against a defendant. The Dennis Hastert case provides an excellent example as to how relevant conduct can be used against a defendant.
How Relevant Conduct Affected the Dennis Hastert Case
Dennis Hastert is a previous leader of the House of Representatives. Hastert was charged and federally convicted of wiring illegal payments to an alleged child victim of sexual assault. Hastert did this in an attempt to avoid taxation and cover up his crime. The molestations had occurred in the ‘60s and ‘70s; therefore, the state or federal authority could not charge him with the actual crimes because the statute of limitations had expired on the crimes Hastert committed. However, in federal court there is something called relevant conduct. Information related to relevant conduct under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual 1B1.3.
Presentence Investigation Report (PSR)
When the federal court is about to sentence an individual, a federal probation officer produces a…