Can I Get my Federal Prison Sentence Reduced for Helping the Federal Government in a Case?: Federal Attorney Answers

750+ Reviews On
Can I Get my Federal Prison Sentence Reduced for Helping the Federal Government in a Case?: Federal Attorney Answers

Can I Get my Federal Prison Sentence Reduced for Helping the Federal Government in a Case?: Federal Attorney talks Reduction of Prison Sentence After Aiding the Government in a Federal Case

Can your sentence be reduced if you help the federal government in a case?

Yes! It is possible to get your prison sentence reduced by cooperating with the federal government on a case.

It depends, however, on how much information is provided to the government. If you, the defendant, provide the government with substantial assistance, it is possible that your federal prison sentence can be reduced.

According to the United States Department of Justice, Rule 35(b) motions “for downward departure of a sentence based upon, but not limited to, such factors as the defendant providing substantial assistance, his or her criminal conduct in the instant case, and the defendant’s role in the alleged offense” (United States Department of Justice, n.d.). A downward departure means that the defendant might be able to have a “lesser” prison sentence – A downward departure is when a judge “departs” or goes below the lowest prison sentence allowable.

With Rule 35(b), the defendant’s sentence can even be reduced after they were already sentenced. Also, a 5k motion can occur prior to the sentencing period. 


5k Motion Qualifications

The defendant’s possible federal prison sentence can be reduced based upon the court’s evaluation of how useful and assistive the defendant’s compliance was. 

In addition to the nature of extent, reliability, truthfulness, and completeness of the information provided is also a factor. In addition, it matters if the timeline of events as testified by the defendant is accurate. Also, if the defendant experienced bodily harm or injury during the investigative process, their sentence might have a higher likelihood of being reduced.


Rule 35(B) Qualifications

After 1 year in prison, the defendant is potentially eligible for a reduction in their sentencing. The qualifications depend on whether the defendant had no prior knowledge of the information before the first year of their sentence, information was provided by the defendant after the first year of their sentence, and if the information was deemed useful by the government after the defendant’s first year in prison.


Who Files Both Motions to get Federal Prison Sentences Reduced?

The prosecutor files the substantial assistance reduction motions. The defendant’s criminal defense attorney, however, can also negotiate cooperation with the federal prosecutors. In addition, the defendant’s criminal defense lawyer can also negotiate for the defendant’s safety upon his/her cooperation with the government. This also includes the safety and well-being of the defendant’s family.


Examples of Rule 35(b) & 5k Motion

Imagine this:

After being sentenced for a federal wire fraud crime, Josh has knowledge of another federal crime and would like to work with the government to give his testimony.

It has only been 6 months since his prison sentence, however. Unfortunately for Josh, this means he would not qualify for Rule 35(b) since it has not been 1 year or longer since his sentence. 

In addition, Josh has little knowledge of the different crimes, so his assistance was not substantive. 

Here is a second scenario:

On another note, Maddison was charged with a federal drug crime and she also has knowledge of racketeering and drug trafficking

She is able to indicate a timeline of events to federal investigators, and can share what she witnessed in relation to these other crimes while she was illegally purchasing drugs and substances on several separate occasions. 

With her testimony and photos posted on social media (with numerous individuals tagged), and a photo of the outside of the home, the federal government found her assistance substantial and the projected sentencing phase was reduced. Maddison’s experience is  an example of the 5k motion in application.


Other Benefits of Reduced Federal Sentences

Offering a reduced federal criminal sentence to defendants allows for more cooperation between offenders and the government, and the defendant’s testimony or evidence can better be used to help convict other individuals for different cases. 

In addition, the reduction period for the sentencing can be significantly reduced. 

With such, a friend or family member of the defendant who helped the government can also possibly have their sentence reduced, placed on probation, or be transferred to a jail instead. 

Free Federal Defense Consultation in South Florida 

We offer Free Strategy Sessions to anyone facing a federal criminal allegation in South Florida.


We go above and beyond a free consultation by offering a free strategy session in which we listen to your whole story and learn everything we can about your case and let you know how we’d get to work to defend you and what kind of strategy we’d employ to protect your future – you learn all this before you ever pay Rossen Law Firm a single penny.


Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for your free consultation:


Can I Get my Federal Prison Sentence Reduced for Helping the Federal Government in a Case?: Federal Attorney Answers
What to Expect at Your Free Initial Strategy Session with Rossen Law Firm
We Listen to Your Story
We Educate You
We Create a Unique Defense Strategy
a Free Consultation

    750+ Reviews On
    Google Reviews
    kevin tabronkevin tabron
    00:07 08 Sep 22
    In one of the most stressful times in my life, Rossen Law Firm was there for me. Leaving no stone unturned they provided patience and knowledge in every detail of my case. I’m very thankful and proud of this law firm family and especially of my lawyer, Scott Simmons for guiding, defending and helping me in every way possible. He and this law firm family come highly recommended from personal experience!!!
    Jason HigleyJason Higley
    15:24 26 Aug 22
    I had an unfortunate situation with a family member that lead to my arrest and being charged with DV Battery. This was the first time I had ever been arrested so I was very nervous and afraid of what was going to happen to me. After talking with Adam I decided to retain him and let me tell you this was the BEST decision I could have ever made. Adam made me feel so comfortable and confident that everything will turn out the best in my favor. He is professional, ethical and supportive. He was always available too answer any questions or concerns.Not to mention, his team at the office is awesome they are so friendly and welcoming. Anytime I had a question when I called the office they were able to guide me in the rightdirection. They always were in contact with me with any information or updates regarding my case. Adams team is GREAT!Adam delivered, my case was DISMISSED. So if you want an attorney the is gonna fight for you and get the job done retain the BEST there is Adam Rossen!!!
    Felix I HFelix I H
    13:27 28 Jul 22
    Adam Rossen and the team at Rossen Law took great care in handling my case. They are very professional, and get the job done. I was particular relieved to see just how much empathy they showed with me, and how effortless it was to be their client.I literally visited them twice. My initial consultation, and then to pickup the final docs. I have nothing but great things to say about these folks, and I would highly recommend them to anyone. Thanks Guys.
    Terry ChristopherTerry Christopher
    12:32 09 May 22
    I had an amazing experience with The Rossen Law Firm. The staff were very professional. Attorney Susan Lawson went above and beyond working on my case. We were thoroughly prepared for trial. Mrs. Lawson reviewed hours of body and dash camera footage multiple times and aggressively performed depositions on witnesses and law enforcement.The final outcome for me was the state dropped my case, due to the great work Susan and the Rossen team performed. I didn’t even need to go to trial.This law firm does not play around. They pay attention to detail and they FIGHT FOR YOU!Thank you Adam, team, and a special thank you to Susan for your amazing work! I really appreciate you.
    Ketiana ProvinceKetiana Province
    20:27 23 Mar 22
    My experience with Rossen Law Firm was excellent. From the consultation to the end.. My attorney Susan Lawson gave my son's case all the time and attention that was needed to be successful in court. She was confident during all the court proceedings. My favorite part was when she said we are family, never once my son and I were treated other then that. I very much appreciate the knowledge and support I received through Rossen Law Firm.
    Second DUI, 0.19 Breath
    DUI Charge Dismissed
    Federal Child Porn Possession
    Mandatory Prison Time Avoided
    Attempted Murder
    Charges Dismissed
    How We Win
    Second DUI, 0.19 Breath
    DUI Charge Dismissed
    Federal Child Porn Possession
    Mandatory Prison Time Avoided
    Attempted Murder
    Charges Dismissed
    Types Of Cases We Handle

    Rossen Law Firm’s legal team understands what’s at stake when you’re charged with a crime in South Florida. We’re committed to defending you and protecting your rights. Our legal team is ready to create a customized strategy for your case to fight for the best possible outcome. We handle Criminal, DUI, Federal, Domestic Violence, Marchman Act & Baker Act cases, and more.

    See All Practice Areas
    Get Your Free Download Instantly
    Our monthly newsletter keeps you up to date on the latest legal and community news
    Sign Up to Receive Our Monthly Newsletter
    View Details
    Free Booklet: 7 key rules you need to know to survive a Florida DUI as told by a South Florida DUI Attorney
    Arrested for a DUI in South Florida? Our DUI Defense Lawyers put together a FREE Florida DUI survival guide to help you know and fight for your rights & future
    View Details
    Free Domestic Violence Booklet reveals how what happens in the heat of the moment can have terrible legal consequences for you & your loved ones…
    Getting arrested for domestic violence charges in South Florida is scary. Free booklet written by an attorney reveals how to protect yourself & your family.
    View Details
    What To Do If You or a Loved One Is Arrested in Florida: Free Digital Arrest Survival Guide Booklet
    Free booklet helps you know What To Do If You or a Loved One Is Arrested in Florida. A criminal defense attorney walks you through the Florida arrest process
    View Details
    Get Help Now
    Take a moment to fill out the form on this page to get in touch with us, and we will get back to you shortly.