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You’ve pleaded guilty to a federal crime and face imprisonment—maybe even 10 years—and have basically thrown yourself on the mercy of the court. Frankly, some judges aren’t so merciful at all. Now, typically defendants aren’t sentenced to the “maximum”; but still, if the prosecutor is asking for stiff time, the judge will pay great attention to that recommendation. Even more so if the probation department’s report agrees. Your attorney makes all the legal arguments for why leniency is appropriate. And he and your supporters write the judge expressing your considerable remorse and good works.

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