Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Fighting Career Offender Designation
The Career Offender designation is one of a type of "three strikes" law that can apply after a person has been convicted of certain offenses in federal court. A defendant who has been classified as a "Career Offender" faces significantly enhanced penalties. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines designate a person a "Career Offender" when:
- The person is at least 18 years old at the time of the crime of conviction
- The crime of conviction is either a felony "Crime of Violence" or a felony "Controlled Substance Offense and
- The person has at least two prior felony convictions for either a "Crime of Violence" or a "Controlled Substance Offense"
For Sentencing Guidelines purposes, a "Career Offender" Designation results in an enhanced offense level and artificially places the defendant in the worst possible criminal history category. The proper and lawful application of the "Career Offender" designation is both extremely complex and technical. It is the Government's burden to prove that a defendant qualifies for an enhanced career offender sentence. A knowledgeable federal criminal defense attorney can raise proper objections and arguments in an effort to prevent this.
By way of example, the terms "Crime of Violence," and "Serious Drug Offense" have specific definitions that must be met by the government before they can be satisfied. In addition, the United States Supreme Court has described a specific and limited procedure by which the government is allowed to prove such convictions apply.
This area of the law requires in-depth knowledge of both federal sentencing guidelines and state and federal criminal law. At Raivio, Kohlmetz & Steen, P.C., our Portland lawyers have more than 70 years of combined legal experience, much of it focused on federal criminal defense. We have the skills and knowledge to build strong cases for clients who may be deemed career offenders.
When defending a client against a charge that may result in an enhanced sentence, our attorneys develop a strategy that focuses on reviewing the prior convictions as well as fighting the current charge. The government must properly prove that the previous two cases resulted in qualifying convictions. Similarly, we explore all the options for having the current charge reduced to a crime that will not result in a career offender sentence.
If you have been charged or believe you are under investigation for an offense that will put you into the career criminal category, it is vital that you consult an attorney immediately. Our attorneys know how to review the evidence against you and challenge your previous charges and convictions. There is a great deal at stake for our clients; they are facing a far lengthier prison sentence — up to life in prison — than they would receive without the career offender designation.
Our federal criminal defense lawyers are skilled negotiators and are able to work with prosecutors to obtain sentences lower than those recommended by the sentencing guidelines. We also negotiate in pursuit of reduced charges that would not result in classification as a career offender. We are also accomplished federal trial lawyers who will fight for you at trial.
Call a Federal Career Offender Attorney
Our law firm is committed to providing the highest-quality defense at reasonable rates and is dedicated to protecting our clients' rights throughout the legal process. We offer a free initial consultation. Call our law firm toll free at 1-888-311-2016 or send us an e-mail.