Top Federal Criminal Lawyer Michael Leonard answers the question of What are “Status Points” under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Under the Guidelines, federal court judges calculate a defendant’s Criminal History score, in part, by determining if the defendant committed the federal offense for which he/she has been charged while while still serving a sentence in another case. For example, that other sentence could include probation or parole. This 2 point increase to a defendant’s Criminal History score is found in section 4A1.1 of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. That section states, in relevant part, at section 4A1.1(d):
Two points are added if the defendant committed any part of the instant offense (i.e., any relevant conduct) while under any criminal justice sentence, including probation, parole, supervised release, imprisonment, work release, or escape status.
As detailed in one of my other blog posts, this 2 point increase is scheduled to be eliminated as a result of various proposed Amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that are scheduled to take effect later this year – in November 2023. Significantly, as also detailed in that other blog post, the Amendment dealing with Status Points is going to be applied retroactively. This means that, after February 2024, federal detainees who have already been sentenced will be able to take advantage of this change in the Guidelines. Thus, they will be able to file motions seeking a reduction in the sentences they are currently serving.
Written by Michael Leonard
Leonard Trial Lawyers
August 27, 2023