Answer: Sentencing in federal court revolves around a set of guidelines prepared by the Federal Sentencing Commission. These guidelines are not mandatory, but they are extremely influential and the judge is required to consider them when deciding what the sentence should be. The basic idea of the guidelines is to look at a person’s criminal history, if any, and the level of the offense that he or she is being sentenced on and then they see where it falls on a chart on guidelines.
There are other issues that affect the outcome, though, such as acceptance of responsibility and cooperation and many other things. Actually navigating through these guidelines and understanding them can be extremely complicated. If you are facing criminal charges in federal court, you need to make sure that you reach out to an attorney who is experienced and understands the federal sentencing guidelines.