The 3 Most Important “Asks” that Your Attorney Needs to Know at Sentencing

says 3 most important questions
I’m sure that you’ve heard the expression: “Location, Location, Location” before.

However, when you or a loved one or friend is going before their judge for sentencing, there are 3 items which an attorney needs to both be aware of and be prepared to ask the judge immediately upon the judge reading a number for a custodial sentence (non home- confinement).
Of course, your attorney will request the lowest possible sentence given your charge. That’s their job as part of their sentencing memo to the judge prior to sentencing. They will also reiterate this during the sentencing hearing.
However, being realistic and more importantly, properly prepared, you need to be ready to have your attorney ask the judge for 3 very important things if they do render a period of prison:
1) Designation/Location: Where will you or your loved one serve their sentence? The BOP claims to try to place you as close to your family as possible. However, if you’re eligible for certain programs like RDAP or MAT, the closest facility might not be the most appropriate. If you have a detainer, immigration or other, what is the best low security facility for you and your family?
2) Surrender Date: If the judge doesn’t remand you at sentencing, which rarely occurs, how long do you need before you self-surrender? Typically the judge will give you 60-90 days unless there is a specific reason you require for additional time.
3) RDAP or other programs if warranted: Not every camp or low security facility has every program. If you look at the list of RDAP locations from the email that I sent last week, you will notice how few camps west of the Mississippi have the program. Both male and female facilities have different programs, some very few. These programs could help you reduce your sentence substantially if you are eligible.
Asking the sentencing judge for these 3 recommendations at sentencing can help you to get the location and surrender date you want. Ultimately, the decision is up to the BOP, but a judicial request on your J&C is helpful.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the issues I raise above, please call, email or text me, 7 days a week.
Member: American Bar Association