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Attorney Mike Whipple Achieves a Dramatic Variant Sentence in Federal Court

Federal Court presents a daunting challenge that can only be met by the most prepared and informed attorney. The lawyers of Hallett, Zerillo & Whipple practice in the United States District Court in Maine routinely. We know how to best navigate the maze of federal court for our clients.

Attorney Whipple recently took on a serious federal case. Our client was charged federally with drug trafficking. Prior to Attorney Whipple representing the client, the client had racked up a significant criminal history. The client's history included prior drug trafficking charges and other drug convictions. To make matters worse, the client jumped bail in the federal case, which is a very serious offense. In a nutshell, the client faced nearly 15 years with an additional lengthy prison term for bail jumping.

Attorney Whipple was able to negotiate a plea agreement whereby the government would decline to charge the client with bail jumping. This was a significant victory in itself.

Federal offenses are punished by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The client's guideline range for the drug trafficking case, even without the bail jumping case, required a sentence of 140 months - nearly 12 years. Our client knew the risk and was prepared. We argued for a dramatic variant sentence due to our client's history which included abuse so painful and unimaginable that it cannot be reprinted here. A variant sentence is a sentence in which the judge declines to follow the Guidelines. After significant preparation and a convincing sentencing presentation, the judge concurred with Attorney Whipple that our client deserved a chance and sentenced the client to 5 years with a recommendation to attend the prison drug program.

The importance of this kind of victory for our client cannot be understated. When Attorney Whipple got the case, the client was looking at 20 years or so in custody. When it was all said and done, our client will serve approximately 3 and a half years. This is well-deserve victory for Attorney Whipple and our client who deserved a second chance.

The law firm of Hallett, Zerillo, and Whipple, P.A. are Maine attorneys representing clients who have been seriously injured, accused of crimes in state and federal court, have business litigation needs or family law and divorce cases. Various attorneys in the firm have been locally and nationally recognized for their achievements, including admission into New England Super Lawyers, the Client's Choice Award from AVVO.com, and the President's Award from the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. For more information on the firm, please visit www.HZWlaw.com

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