Federal Sentencing Guidelines Law and Legal Definition

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are set of rules promulgated by the Sentencing Commission, for computing uniform sentencing policy for individuals and organizations. It also provides classifications of offenses or offenders, scales of severity of crimes, and suggested punishments in the U.S. federal courts system. The Guidelines do not apply to less serious misdemeanors. The federal Sentencing Guidelines were promulgated by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to the Congress delegation. A sentencing court may depart on the basis of a factor not addressed by the Sentencing Commission if the court determines that the factor takes the case out of the Federal Sentencing Guideline's heartland after considering the structure and theory of both the relevant individual guidelines and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines taken as a whole.