[USC02] 18 USC PART II, CHAPTER 227, SUBCHAPTER A: GENERAL PROVISIONS
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18 USC PART II, CHAPTER 227, SUBCHAPTER A: GENERAL PROVISIONS
From Title 18—CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDUREPART II—CRIMINAL PROCEDURECHAPTER 227—SENTENCES

SUBCHAPTER A—GENERAL PROVISIONS

SUBCHAPTER A—GENERAL PROVISIONS 1

Sec.
3551.
Authorized sentences.
3552.
Presentence reports.
3553.
Imposition of a sentence.
3554.
Order of criminal forfeiture.
3555.
Order of notice to victims.
3556.
Order of restitution.
3557.
Review of a sentence.
3558.
Implementation of a sentence.
3559.
Sentencing classification of offenses.

        

Amendments

1994Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330010(3), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2143, transferred analysis for this subchapter to follow heading of this subchapter.

1 So in original. Probably should not appear.

§3551. Authorized sentences

(a) In General.—Except as otherwise specifically provided, a defendant who has been found guilty of an offense described in any Federal statute, including sections 13 and 1153 of this title, other than an Act of Congress applicable exclusively in the District of Columbia or the Uniform Code of Military Justice, shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of this chapter so as to achieve the purposes set forth in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of section 3553(a)(2) to the extent that they are applicable in light of all the circumstances of the case.

(b) Individuals.—An individual found guilty of an offense shall be sentenced, in accordance with the provisions of section 3553, to—

(1) a term of probation as authorized by subchapter B;

(2) a fine as authorized by subchapter C; or

(3) a term of imprisonment as authorized by subchapter D.


A sentence to pay a fine may be imposed in addition to any other sentence. A sanction authorized by section 3554, 3555, or 3556 may be imposed in addition to the sentence required by this subsection.

(c) Organizations.—An organization found guilty of an offense shall be sentenced, in accordance with the provisions of section 3553, to—

(1) a term of probation as authorized by subchapter B; or

(2) a fine as authorized by subchapter C.


A sentence to pay a fine may be imposed in addition to a sentence to probation. A sanction authorized by section 3554, 3555, or 3556 may be imposed in addition to the sentence required by this subsection.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1988; amended Pub. L. 101–647, title XVI, §1602, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4843.)

References in Text

Acts of Congress applicable exclusively in the District of Columbia, referred to in subsec. (a), are classified generally to the District of Columbia Code.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice, referred to in subsec. (a), is classified generally to chapter 47 (§801 et seq.) of Title 10, Armed Forces.

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–647 inserted "including sections 13 and 1153 of this title," after "any Federal statute,".

Effective Date; Savings Provision

Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §235, Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2031, as amended by Pub. L. 99–217, §§2, 4, Dec. 26, 1985, 99 Stat. 1728; Pub. L. 99–646, §35, Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3599; Pub. L. 100–182, §2, Dec. 7, 1987, 101 Stat. 1266; Pub. L. 104–232, §4, Oct. 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 3056, provided that:

"(a)(1) This chapter [chapter II (§§211–239) of title II of Pub. L. 98–473, see Tables for classification] shall take effect on the first day of the first calendar month beginning 36 months after the date of enactment [Oct. 12, 1984] and shall apply only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this chapter, except that—

"(A) the repeal of chapter 402 of title 18, United States Code, shall take effect on the date of enactment [Oct. 12, 1984];

"(B)(i) chapter 58 of title 28, United States Code, shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 12, 1984] or October 1, 1983, whichever occurs later, and the United States Sentencing Commission shall submit the initial sentencing guidelines promulgated under section 994(a)(1) of title 28 to the Congress within 30 months of the effective date of such chapter 58; and

"(ii) the sentencing guidelines promulgated pursuant to section 994(a)(1) shall not go into effect until—

"(I) the United States Sentencing Commission has submitted the initial set of sentencing guidelines to the Congress pursuant to subparagraph (B)(i), along with a report stating the reasons for the Commission's recommendations;

"(II) the General Accounting Office [now Government Accountability Office] has undertaken a study of the guidelines, and their potential impact in comparison with the operation of the existing sentencing and parole release system, and has, within one hundred and fifty days of submission of the guidelines, reported to the Congress the results of its study; and

"(III) the day after the Congress has had six months after the date described in subclause (I) in which to examine the guidelines and consider the reports; and

"(IV) section 212(a)(2) [enacting chapters 227 and 229 of this title and repealing former chapters 227, 229, and 231 of this title] takes effect, in the case of the initial sentencing guidelines so promulgated.

"(2) For the purposes of section 992(a) of title 28, the terms of the first members of the United States Sentencing Commission shall not begin to run until the sentencing guidelines go into effect pursuant to paragraph (1)(B)(ii).

"(b)(1) The following provisions of law in effect on the day before the effective date of this Act shall remain in effect for five years after the effective date as to an individual who committed an offense or an act of juvenile delinquency before the effective date and as to a term of imprisonment during the period described in subsection (a)(1)(B):

"(A) Chapter 311 of title 18, United States Code.

"(B) Chapter 309 of title 18, United States Code.

"(C) Sections 4251 through 4255 of title 18, United States Code.

"(D) Sections 5041 and 5042 of title 18, United States Code.

"(E) Sections 5017 through 5020 of title 18, United States Code, as to a sentence imposed before the date of enactment [Oct. 12, 1984].

"(F) The maximum term of imprisonment in effect on the effective date for an offense committed before the effective date.

"(G) Any other law relating to a violation of a condition of release or to arrest authority with regard to a person who violates a condition of release.

"[(2) Repealed. Pub. L. 104–232, §4, Oct. 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 3056.]

"(3) The United States Parole Commission shall set a release date, for an individual who will be in its jurisdiction the day before the expiration of five years after the effective date of this Act, pursuant to section 4206 of title 18, United States Code. A release date set pursuant to this paragraph shall be set early enough to permit consideration of an appeal of the release date, in accordance with Parole Commission procedures, before the expiration of five years following the effective date of this Act.

"(4) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subsection, all laws in effect on the day before the effective date of this Act pertaining to an individual who is—

"(A) released pursuant to a provision listed in paragraph (1); and

"(B)(i) subject to supervision on the day before the expiration of the five-year period following the effective date of this Act; or

"(ii) released on a date set pursuant to paragraph (3);

including laws pertaining to terms and conditions of release, revocation of release, provision of counsel, and payment of transportation costs, shall remain in effect as to the individual until the expiration of his sentence, except that the district court shall determine, in accord with the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, whether release should be revoked or the conditions of release amended for violation of a condition of release.

"(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 991 of title 28, United States Code, and sections 4351 and 5002 of title 18, United States Code, the Chairman of the United States Parole Commission or his designee shall be a member of the National Institute of Corrections, and the Chairman of the United States Parole Commission shall be a member of the Advisory Corrections Council and a nonvoting member of the United States Sentencing Commission, ex officio, until the expiration of the five-year period following the effective date of this Act. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4351 of title 18, during the five-year period the National Institute of Corrections shall have seventeen members, including seven ex officio members. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 991 of title 28, during the five-year period the United States Sentencing Commission shall consist of nine members, including two ex officio, nonvoting members."

[Pub. L. 104–232, §3(b)(2), Oct. 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 3056, provided that: "Effective on the date the plan [alternative plan by Attorney General for transfer of United States Parole Commission's functions to another entity within Department of Justice pursuant to section 3 of Pub. L. 104–232, set out as a note under section 4201 of this title] takes effect, paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 235(b) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 [Pub. L. 98–473, set out above] (98 Stat. 2032) are repealed."]

[Pub. L. 115–274, §2, Oct. 31, 2018, 132 Stat. 4160, provided that: "For purposes of section 235(b) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (18 U.S.C. 3551 note; Public Law 98–473; 98 Stat. 2032), as such section relates to chapter 311 of title 18, United States Code, and the United States Parole Commission, each reference in such section to '31 years' or '31-year period' shall be deemed a reference to '33 years' or '33-year period', respectively."]

[Pub. L. 113–47, §2, Oct. 31, 2013, 127 Stat. 572, provided that: "For purposes of section 235(b) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (18 U.S.C. 3551 note; Public Law 98–473; 98 Stat. 2032), as such section relates to chapter 311 of title 18, United States Code, and the United States Parole Commission, each reference in such section to '26 years' or '26-year period' shall be deemed a reference to '31 years' or '31-year period', respectively."]

[Pub. L. 112–44, §2, Oct. 21, 2011, 125 Stat. 532, provided that: "For purposes of section 235(b) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (18 U.S.C. 3551 note; Public Law 98–473; 98 Stat. 2032), as such section relates to chapter 311 of title 18, United States Code, and the United States Parole Commission, each reference in such section to '24 years' or '24-year period' shall be deemed a reference to '26 years' or '26-year period', respectively."]

[Pub. L. 110–312, §2, Aug. 12, 2008, 122 Stat. 3013, provided that: "For purposes of section 235(b) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (18 U.S.C. 3551 note; Public Law 98–473; 98 Stat. 2032), as such section relates to chapter 311 of title 18, United States Code, and the United States Parole Commission, each reference in such section to '21 years' or '21-year period' shall be deemed a reference to '24 years' or '24-year period', respectively."]

[Pub. L. 109–76, §2, Sept. 29, 2005, 119 Stat. 2035, provided that: "For purposes of section 235(b) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 [Pub. L. 98–473, set out above] (98 Stat. 2032) as such section relates to chapter 311 of title 18, United States Code, and the United States Parole Commission, each reference in such section to 'eighteen years' or 'eighteen-year period' shall be deemed a reference to '21 years' or '21-year period', respectively."]

[For purposes of section 235(b) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out above, as it relates to chapter 311 of this title and the Parole Commission, references to "fifteen years" or "fifteen-year period" are deemed to be references to "eighteen years" or "eighteen-year period", respectively, see section 11017(a) of Pub. L. 107–273, set out as a note under section 4202 of this title.]

[For purposes of section 235(b) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out above, as it relates to chapter 311 of this title and the Parole Commission, references to "ten years" or "ten-year period" are deemed to be references to "fifteen years" or "fifteen-year period", respectively, see section 2(a) of Pub. L. 104–232, set out as a note under section 4201 of this title.]

[Pub. L. 101–650, title III, §316, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5115, provided that: "For the purposes of section 235(b) of Public Law 98–473 [set out above] as it relates to chapter 311 of title 18, United States Code, and the United States Parole Commission, each reference in such section to 'five years' or a 'five-year period' shall be deemed a reference to 'ten years' or a 'ten-year period', respectively."]

Short Title of 2008 Amendment

Pub. L. 110–312, §1, Aug. 12, 2008, 122 Stat. 3013, provided that: "This Act [enacting provisions set out as a note under this section] may be cited as the 'United States Parole Commission Extension Act of 2008'."

Short Title of 2005 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–76, §1, Sept. 29, 2005, 119 Stat. 2035, provided that: "This Act [enacting provisions set out as a note under this section and enacting provisions listed in a table relating to sentencing guidelines set out as a note under section 994 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] may be cited as the 'United States Parole Commission Extension and Sentencing Commission Authority Act of 2005'."

Short Title of 1996 Amendment

Pub. L. 104–132, title II, §201, Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1227, provided that: "This subtitle [subtitle A (§§201–211) of title II of Pub. L. 104–132, enacting sections 3613A and 3663A of this title, amending sections 2248, 2259, 2264, 2327, 3013, 3556, 3563, 3572, 3611 to 3613, 3614, 3663, and 3664 of this title and Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure set out in the Appendix to this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section, section 2248 of this title, and section 994 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] may be cited as the 'Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996'."

Short Title of 1987 Amendment

Pub. L. 100–182, §1, Dec. 7, 1987, 101 Stat. 1266, provided that: "This Act [amending sections 3006A, 3553, 3561, 3563, 3564, 3583, 3663, 3672, 3742, and 4106 of this title, section 994 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and sections 504 and 1111 of Title 29, Labor, enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 3006A and 3553 of this title, rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, set out in the Appendix to this title, and section 994 of Title 28, and amending provisions set out as a note under this section] may be cited as the 'Sentencing Act of 1987'."

Short Title of 1985 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–217, §1, Dec. 26, 1985, 99 Stat. 1728, provided that: "This Act [amending section 994 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and provisions set out as a note under this section] may be cited as the 'Sentencing Reform Amendments Act of 1985'."

Short Title

Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §211, Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1987, provided that: "This chapter [chapter II (§§211–239) of title II of Pub. L. 98–473, see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Sentencing Reform Act of 1984'."

Mandatory Victim Restitution; Promulgation of Regulations by Attorney General

Pub. L. 104–132, title II, §209, Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1240, provided that: "Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this subtitle [Apr. 24, 1996], the Attorney General shall promulgate guidelines, or amend existing guidelines, to carry out this subtitle [subtitle A (§§201–211) of title II of Pub. L. 104–132, see Short Title of 1996 Amendment note set out above] and the amendments made by this subtitle and to ensure that—

"(1) in all plea agreements negotiated by the United States, consideration is given to requesting that the defendant provide full restitution to all victims of all charges contained in the indictment or information, without regard to the counts to which the defendant actually pleaded; and

"(2) orders of restitution made pursuant to the amendments made by this subtitle are enforced to the fullest extent of the law."

Sentencing of Nonviolent and Nonserious Offenders; Sense of Congress

Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §239, Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2039, provided that:

"Since, due to an impending crisis in prison overcrowding, available Federal prison space must be treated as a scarce resource in the sentencing of criminal defendants;

"Since, sentencing decisions should be designed to ensure that prison resources are, first and foremost, reserved for those violent and serious criminal offenders who pose the most dangerous threat to society;

"Since, in cases of nonviolent and nonserious offenders, the interests of society as a whole as well as individual victims of crime can continue to be served through the imposition of alternative sentences, such as restitution and community service;

"Since, in the two years preceding the enactment of sentencing guidelines, Federal sentencing practice should ensure that scarce prison resources are available to house violent and serious criminal offenders by the increased use of restitution, community service, and other alternative sentences in cases of nonviolent and nonserious offenders: Now, therefore, be it

"Declared, That it is the sense of the Senate that in the two years preceding the enactment of the sentencing guidelines, Federal judges, in determining the particular sentence to be imposed, consider—

"(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;

"(2) the general appropriateness of imposing a sentence other than imprisonment in cases in which the defendant has not been convicted of a crime of violence or otherwise serious offense; and

"(3) the general appropriateness of imposing a sentence of imprisonment in cases in which the defendant has been convicted of a crime of violence or otherwise serious offense."

§3552. Presentence reports

(a) Presentence Investigation and Report by Probation Officer.—A United States probation officer shall make a presentence investigation of a defendant that is required pursuant to the provisions of Rule 32(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and shall, before the imposition of sentence, report the results of the investigation to the court.

(b) Presentence Study and Report by Bureau of Prisons.—If the court, before or after its receipt of a report specified in subsection (a) or (c), desires more information than is otherwise available to it as a basis for determining the sentence to be imposed on a defendant found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, it may order a study of the defendant. The study shall be conducted in the local community by qualified consultants unless the sentencing judge finds that there is a compelling reason for the study to be done by the Bureau of Prisons or there are no adequate professional resources available in the local community to perform the study. The period of the study shall be no more than sixty days. The order shall specify the additional information that the court needs before determining the sentence to be imposed. Such an order shall be treated for administrative purposes as a provisional sentence of imprisonment for the maximum term authorized by section 3581(b) for the offense committed. The study shall inquire into such matters as are specified by the court and any other matters that the Bureau of Prisons or the professional consultants believe are pertinent to the factors set forth in section 3553(a). The period of the study may, in the discretion of the court, be extended for an additional period of not more than sixty days. By the expiration of the period of the study, or by the expiration of any extension granted by the court, the United States marshal shall, if the defendant is in custody, return the defendant to the court for final sentencing. The Bureau of Prisons or the professional consultants shall provide the court with a written report of the pertinent results of the study and make to the court whatever recommendations the Bureau or the consultants believe will be helpful to a proper resolution of the case. The report shall include recommendations of the Bureau or the consultants concerning the guidelines and policy statements, promulgated by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(a), that they believe are applicable to the defendant's case. After receiving the report and the recommendations, the court shall proceed finally to sentence the defendant in accordance with the sentencing alternatives and procedures available under this chapter.

(c) Presentence Examination and Report by Psychiatric or Psychological Examiners.—If the court, before or after its receipt of a report specified in subsection (a) or (b) desires more information than is otherwise available to it as a basis for determining the mental condition of the defendant, the court may order the same psychiatric or psychological examination and report thereon as may be ordered under section 4244(b) of this title.

(d) Disclosure of Presentence Reports.—The court shall assure that a report filed pursuant to this section is disclosed to the defendant, the counsel for the defendant, and the attorney for the Government at least ten days prior to the date set for sentencing, unless this minimum period is waived by the defendant. The court shall provide a copy of the presentence report to the attorney for the Government to use in collecting an assessment, criminal fine, forfeiture or restitution imposed.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1988; amended Pub. L. 99–646, §7(a), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3593; Pub. L. 101–647, title XXXVI, §3625, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4965.)

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–647 inserted at end "The court shall provide a copy of the presentence report to the attorney for the Government to use in collecting an assessment, criminal fine, forfeiture or restitution imposed."

1986—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–646, §7(a)(1), (2), substituted "study shall be" for "study shall take" and inserted ", if the defendant is in custody," after "United States marshal shall".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–646, §7(a)(3), substituted "the court may order the same psychiatric or psychological examination and report thereon as may be ordered under section 4244(b) of this title" for "it may order that the defendant undergo a psychiatric or psychological examination and that the court be provided with a written report of the results of the examination pursuant to the provisions of section 4247".

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–647 effective 180 days after Nov. 29, 1990, see section 3631 of Pub. L. 101–647, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3001 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–646, §7(b), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3593, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of section 3552 of title 18, United States Code [Nov. 1, 1987]."

Effective Date

Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

Use of Certain Technology To Facilitate Criminal Conduct

Pub. L. 104–294, title V, §501, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3497, provided that:

"(a) Information.—The Administrative Office of the United States courts shall establish policies and procedures for the inclusion in all presentence reports of information that specifically identifies and describes any use of encryption or scrambling technology that would be relevant to an enhancement under section 3C1.1 (dealing with Obstructing or Impeding the Administration of Justice) of the Sentencing Guidelines or to offense conduct under the Sentencing Guidelines.

"(b) Compiling and Report.—The United States Sentencing Commission shall—

"(1) compile and analyze any information contained in documentation described in subsection (a) relating to the use of encryption or scrambling technology to facilitate or conceal criminal conduct; and

"(2) based on the information compiled and analyzed under paragraph (1), annually report to the Congress on the nature and extent of the use of encryption or scrambling technology to facilitate or conceal criminal conduct."

§3553. Imposition of a sentence

(a) Factors To Be Considered in Imposing a Sentence.—The court shall impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection. The court, in determining the particular sentence to be imposed, shall consider—

(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;

(2) the need for the sentence imposed—

(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;

(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;

(C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and

(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner;


(3) the kinds of sentences available;

(4) the kinds of sentence and the sentencing range established for—

(A) the applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines—

(i) issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to section 994(a)(1) of title 28, United States Code, subject to any amendments made to such guidelines by act of Congress (regardless of whether such amendments have yet to be incorporated by the Sentencing Commission into amendments issued under section 994(p) of title 28); and

(ii) that, except as provided in section 3742(g), are in effect on the date the defendant is sentenced; or


(B) in the case of a violation of probation or supervised release, the applicable guidelines or policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to section 994(a)(3) of title 28, United States Code, taking into account any amendments made to such guidelines or policy statements by act of Congress (regardless of whether such amendments have yet to be incorporated by the Sentencing Commission into amendments issued under section 994(p) of title 28);


(5) any pertinent policy statement—

(A) issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to section 994(a)(2) of title 28, United States Code, subject to any amendments made to such policy statement by act of Congress (regardless of whether such amendments have yet to be incorporated by the Sentencing Commission into amendments issued under section 994(p) of title 28); and

(B) that, except as provided in section 3742(g), is in effect on the date the defendant is sentenced.1


(6) the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct; and

(7) the need to provide restitution to any victims of the offense.


(b) Application of Guidelines in Imposing a Sentence.—

(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the court shall impose a sentence of the kind, and within the range, referred to in subsection (a)(4) unless the court finds that there exists an aggravating or mitigating circumstance of a kind, or to a degree, not adequately taken into consideration by the Sentencing Commission in formulating the guidelines that should result in a sentence different from that described. In determining whether a circumstance was adequately taken into consideration, the court shall consider only the sentencing guidelines, policy statements, and official commentary of the Sentencing Commission. In the absence of an applicable sentencing guideline, the court shall impose an appropriate sentence, having due regard for the purposes set forth in subsection (a)(2). In the absence of an applicable sentencing guideline in the case of an offense other than a petty offense, the court shall also have due regard for the relationship of the sentence imposed to sentences prescribed by guidelines applicable to similar offenses and offenders, and to the applicable policy statements of the Sentencing Commission.

(2) Child crimes and sexual offenses.—

(A) 2 Sentencing.—In sentencing a defendant convicted of an offense under section 1201 involving a minor victim, an offense under section 1591, or an offense under chapter 71, 109A, 110, or 117, the court shall impose a sentence of the kind, and within the range, referred to in subsection (a)(4) unless—

(i) the court finds that there exists an aggravating circumstance of a kind, or to a degree, not adequately taken into consideration by the Sentencing Commission in formulating the guidelines that should result in a sentence greater than that described;

(ii) the court finds that there exists a mitigating circumstance of a kind or to a degree, that—

(I) has been affirmatively and specifically identified as a permissible ground of downward departure in the sentencing guidelines or policy statements issued under section 994(a) of title 28, taking account of any amendments to such sentencing guidelines or policy statements by Congress;

(II) has not been taken into consideration by the Sentencing Commission in formulating the guidelines; and

(III) should result in a sentence different from that described; or


(iii) the court finds, on motion of the Government, that the defendant has provided substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed an offense and that this assistance established a mitigating circumstance of a kind, or to a degree, not adequately taken into consideration by the Sentencing Commission in formulating the guidelines that should result in a sentence lower than that described.


In determining whether a circumstance was adequately taken into consideration, the court shall consider only the sentencing guidelines, policy statements, and official commentary of the Sentencing Commission, together with any amendments thereto by act of Congress. In the absence of an applicable sentencing guideline, the court shall impose an appropriate sentence, having due regard for the purposes set forth in subsection (a)(2). In the absence of an applicable sentencing guideline in the case of an offense other than a petty offense, the court shall also have due regard for the relationship of the sentence imposed to sentences prescribed by guidelines applicable to similar offenses and offenders, and to the applicable policy statements of the Sentencing Commission, together with any amendments to such guidelines or policy statements by act of Congress.

(c) Statement of Reasons for Imposing a Sentence.—The court, at the time of sentencing, shall state in open court the reasons for its imposition of the particular sentence, and, if the sentence—

(1) is of the kind, and within the range, described in subsection (a)(4), and that range exceeds 24 months, the reason for imposing a sentence at a particular point within the range; or

(2) is not of the kind, or is outside the range, described in subsection (a)(4), the specific reason for the imposition of a sentence different from that described, which reasons must also be stated with specificity in a statement of reasons form issued under section 994(w)(1)(B) of title 28, except to the extent that the court relies upon statements received in camera in accordance with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32. In the event that the court relies upon statements received in camera in accordance with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32 the court shall state that such statements were so received and that it relied upon the content of such statements.


If the court does not order restitution, or orders only partial restitution, the court shall include in the statement the reason therefor. The court shall provide a transcription or other appropriate public record of the court's statement of reasons, together with the order of judgment and commitment, to the Probation System and to the Sentencing Commission,,3 and, if the sentence includes a term of imprisonment, to the Bureau of Prisons.

(d) Presentence Procedure for an Order of Notice.—Prior to imposing an order of notice pursuant to section 3555, the court shall give notice to the defendant and the Government that it is considering imposing such an order. Upon motion of the defendant or the Government, or on its own motion, the court shall—

(1) permit the defendant and the Government to submit affidavits and written memoranda addressing matters relevant to the imposition of such an order;

(2) afford counsel an opportunity in open court to address orally the appropriateness of the imposition of such an order; and

(3) include in its statement of reasons pursuant to subsection (c) specific reasons underlying its determinations regarding the nature of such an order.


Upon motion of the defendant or the Government, or on its own motion, the court may in its discretion employ any additional procedures that it concludes will not unduly complicate or prolong the sentencing process.

(e) Limited Authority To Impose a Sentence Below a Statutory Minimum.—Upon motion of the Government, the court shall have the authority to impose a sentence below a level established by statute as a minimum sentence so as to reflect a defendant's substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed an offense. Such sentence shall be imposed in accordance with the guidelines and policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to section 994 of title 28, United States Code.

(f) Limitation on Applicability of Statutory Minimums in Certain Cases.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the case of an offense under section 401, 404, or 406 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841, 844, 846), section 1010 or 1013 of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960, 963), or section 70503 or 70506 of title 46, the court shall impose a sentence pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the United States Sentencing Commission under section 994 of title 28 without regard to any statutory minimum sentence, if the court finds at sentencing, after the Government has been afforded the opportunity to make a recommendation, that—

(1) the defendant does not have—

(A) more than 4 criminal history points, excluding any criminal history points resulting from a 1-point offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines;

(B) a prior 3-point offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines; and

(C) a prior 2-point violent offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines;


(2) the defendant did not use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon (or induce another participant to do so) in connection with the offense;

(3) the offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury to any person;

(4) the defendant was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines and was not engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise, as defined in section 408 of the Controlled Substances Act; and

(5) not later than the time of the sentencing hearing, the defendant has truthfully provided to the Government all information and evidence the defendant has concerning the offense or offenses that were part of the same course of conduct or of a common scheme or plan, but the fact that the defendant has no relevant or useful other information to provide or that the Government is already aware of the information shall not preclude a determination by the court that the defendant has complied with this requirement.


Information disclosed by a defendant under this subsection may not be used to enhance the sentence of the defendant unless the information relates to a violent offense.

(g) Definition of Violent Offense.—As used in this section, the term "violent offense" means a crime of violence, as defined in section 16, that is punishable by imprisonment.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1989; amended Pub. L. 99–570, title I, §1007(a), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–7; Pub. L. 99–646, §§8(a), 9(a), 80(a), 81(a), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3593, 3619; Pub. L. 100–182, §§3, 16(a), 17, Dec. 7, 1987, 101 Stat. 1266, 1269, 1270; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7102, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4416; Pub. L. 103–322, title VIII, §80001(a), title XXVIII, §280001, Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1985, 2095; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§601(b)(5), (6), (h), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3499, 3500; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title IV, §4002(a)(8), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1807; Pub. L. 108–21, title IV, §401(a), (c), (j)(5), Apr. 30, 2003, 117 Stat. 667, 669, 673; Pub. L. 111–174, §4, May 27, 2010, 124 Stat. 1216; Pub. L. 115–391, title IV, §402(a), Dec. 21, 2018, 132 Stat. 5221.)

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), are set out in the Appendix to this title.

Section 408 of the Controlled Substances Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(4), is classified to section 848 of Title 21, Food and Drugs.

Constitutionality

For information regarding constitutionality of certain provisions of this section, as amended by section 401(a)(1) of Pub. L. 108–21, see Congressional Research Service, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Appendix 1, Acts of Congress Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 115–391, §402(a)(1)(A), (C), in introductory provisions, substituted ", section 1010" for "or section 1010" and inserted ", or section 70503 or 70506 of title 46" after "963)", and inserted concluding provisions.

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 115–391, §402(a)(1)(B), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: "the defendant does not have more than 1 criminal history point, as determined under the sentencing guidelines;".

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 115–391, §402(a)(2), added subsec. (g).

2010—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 111–174 substituted "a statement of reasons form issued under section 994(w)(1)(B) of title 28" for "the written order of judgment and commitment".

2003—Subsec. (a)(4)(A). Pub. L. 108–21, §401(j)(5)(A), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: "the applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to section 994(a)(1) of title 28, United States Code, and that are in effect on the date the defendant is sentenced; or".

Subsec. (a)(4)(B). Pub. L. 108–21, §401(j)(5)(B), inserted before semicolon at end ", taking into account any amendments made to such guidelines or policy statements by act of Congress (regardless of whether such amendments have yet to be incorporated by the Sentencing Commission into amendments issued under section 994(p) of title 28)".

Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 108–21, §401(j)(5)(C), amended par. (5) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (5) read as follows: "any pertinent policy statement issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(a)(2) that is in effect on the date the defendant is sentenced;".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 108–21, §401(a), designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted par. heading, substituted "Except as provided in paragraph (2), the court" for "The court", and added par. (2) and concluding provisions.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–21, §401(c)(2), (3), in concluding provisions, inserted ", together with the order of judgment and commitment," after "the court's statement of reasons" and "and to the Sentencing Commission," after "to the Probation System".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 108–21, §401(c)(1), substituted "described, which reasons must also be stated with specificity in the written order of judgment and commitment, except to the extent that the court relies upon statements received in camera in accordance with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32. In the event that the court relies upon statements received in camera in accordance with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32 the court shall state that such statements were so received and that it relied upon the content of such statements" for "described".

2002—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–273 inserted "a" before "minimum sentence".

1996—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 104–294, §601(h), amended directory language of Pub. L. 103–322, §80001(a). See 1994 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 104–294, §601(b)(5), in introductory provisions, substituted "section 1010 or 1013 of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960, 963)" for "section 1010 or 1013 of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 961, 963)".

Subsec. (f)(4). Pub. L. 104–294, §601(b)(6), substituted "section 408 of the Controlled Substances Act" for "21 U.S.C. 848".

1994—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 103–322, §280001, amended par. (4) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (4) read as follows: "the kinds of sentence and the sentencing range established for the applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines that are issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(a)(1) and that are in effect on the date the defendant is sentenced;".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 103–322, §80001(a), as amended by Pub. L. 104–294, §601(h), added subsec. (f).

1988—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100–690 inserted "or other appropriate public record" after "transcription" in second sentence and struck out "clerk of the" before "court" in last sentence.

1987—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–182, §3(1), (2), substituted "court finds that there exists an aggravating or mitigating circumstance of a kind, or to a degree, not adequately taken into consideration by the Sentencing Commission in formulating the guidelines that should result" for "court finds that an aggravating or mitigating circumstance exists that was not adequately taken into consideration by the Sentencing Commission in formulating the guidelines and that should result".

Pub. L. 100–182, §3(3), inserted after first sentence "In determining whether a circumstance was adequately taken into consideration, the court shall consider only the sentencing guidelines, policy statements, and official commentary of the Sentencing Commission."

Pub. L. 100–182, §16(a), substituted "In the absence of an applicable sentencing guideline, the court shall impose an appropriate sentence, having due regard for the purposes set forth in subsection (a)(2). In the absence of an applicable sentencing guideline in the case of an offense other than a petty offense, the court shall also have due regard for the relationship of the sentence imposed to sentences prescribed by guidelines applicable to similar offenses and offenders, and to the applicable policy statements of the Sentencing Commission." for "In the absence of an applicable sentencing guideline, the court shall impose an appropriate sentence, having due regard for the relationship of the sentence imposed to sentences prescribed by guidelines applicable to similar offenses and offenders, the applicable policy statements of the Sentencing Commission, and the purposes of sentencing set forth in subsection (a)(2)."

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 100–182, §17, inserted "and that range exceeds 24 months,".

1986—Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 99–646, §81(a), added par. (7).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–646, §9(a), inserted provision relating to sentencing in the absence of applicable guidelines.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–646, §8(a), substituted "If the court does not order restitution, or orders only partial restitution" for "If the sentence does not include an order of restitution".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–646, §80(a), struck out "or restitution" after "notice" in heading, and struck out "or an order of restitution pursuant to section 3556," after "section 3555," in introductory text.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–570 added subsec. (e).

Effective Date of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–391, title IV, §402(b), Dec. 21, 2018, 132 Stat. 5221, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall apply only to a conviction entered on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 21, 2018]."

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Pub. L. 103–322, title VIII, §80001(c), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1986, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to all sentences imposed on or after the 10th day beginning after the date of enactment of this Act [Sept. 13, 1994]."

Effective Date of 1987 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–182 applicable with respect to offenses committed after Dec. 7, 1987, see section 26 of Pub. L. 100–182, set out as a note under section 3006A of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendments

Pub. L. 99–646, §8(c), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3593, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 3663 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of section 3553 of title 18, United States Code [Nov. 1, 1987]."

Pub. L. 99–646, §9(b), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3593, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of section 3553 of title 18, United States Code [Nov. 1, 1987]."

Pub. L. 99–646, §80(b), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3619, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of section 212(a)(2) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 [section 212(a)(2) of Pub. L. 98–473, effective Nov. 1, 1987]."

Pub. L. 99–646, §81(b), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3619, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of section 212(a)(2) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 [section 212(a)(2) of Pub. L. 98–473, effective Nov. 1, 1987]."

Pub. L. 99–570, title I, §1007(b), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–7, provided that: "The amendment made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of section 3553 of title 18, United States Code [Nov. 1, 1987]."

Effective Date

Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

Report by Attorney General

Pub. L. 108–21, title IV, §401(l), Apr. 30, 2003, 117 Stat. 674, provided that:

"(1) Defined term.—For purposes of this section [amending this section, section 3742 of this title, and section 994 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, enacting provisions set out as a note under section 991 of Title 28, and enacting provisions listed in a table relating to sentencing guidelines set out under section 994 of Title 28], the term 'report described in paragraph (3)' means a report, submitted by the Attorney General, which states in detail the policies and procedures that the Department of Justice has adopted subsequent to the enactment of this Act [Apr. 30, 2003]—

"(A) to ensure that Department of Justice attorneys oppose sentencing adjustments, including downward departures, that are not supported by the facts and the law;

"(B) to ensure that Department of Justice attorneys in such cases make a sufficient record so as to permit the possibility of an appeal;

"(C) to delineate objective criteria, specified by the Attorney General, as to which such cases may warrant consideration of an appeal, either because of the nature or magnitude of the sentencing error, its prevalence in the district, or its prevalence with respect to a particular judge;

"(D) to ensure that Department of Justice attorneys promptly notify the designated Department of Justice component in Washington concerning such adverse sentencing decisions; and

"(E) to ensure the vigorous pursuit of appropriate and meritorious appeals of such adverse decisions.

"(2) Report required.—

"(A) In general.—Not later than 15 days after a district court's grant of a downward departure in any case, other than a case involving a downward departure for substantial assistance to authorities pursuant to section 5K1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the Attorney General shall submit a report to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Senate containing the information described under subparagraph (B).

"(B) Contents.—The report submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall set forth—

"(i) the case;

"(ii) the facts involved;

"(iii) the identity of the district court judge;

"(iv) the district court's stated reasons, whether or not the court provided the United States with advance notice of its intention to depart; and

"(v) the position of the parties with respect to the downward departure, whether or not the United States has filed, or intends to file, a motion for reconsideration.

"(C) Appeal of the departure.—Not later than 5 days after a decision by the Solicitor General regarding the authorization of an appeal of the departure, the Attorney General shall submit a report to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Senate that describes the decision of the Solicitor General and the basis for such decision.

"(3) Effective date.—Paragraph (2) shall take effect on the day that is 91 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Apr. 30, 2003], except that such paragraph shall not take effect if not more than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act the Attorney General has submitted to the Judiciary Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate the report described in paragraph (3)."

Authority To Lower a Sentence Below Statutory Minimum for Old Offenses

Pub. L. 100–182, §24, Dec. 7, 1987, 101 Stat. 1271, provided that: "Notwithstanding section 235 of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 [section 235 of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title]—

"(1) section 3553(e) of title 18, United States Code;

"(2) rule 35(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure as amended by section 215(b) of such Act [set out in the Appendix to this title]; and

"(3) rule 35(b) as in effect before the taking effect of the initial set of guidelines promulgated by the United States Sentencing Commission pursuant to chapter 58 of title 28, United States Code,

shall apply in the case of an offense committed before the taking effect of such guidelines."

1 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.

2 So in original. No subpar. (B) has been enacted.

3 So in original.

§3554. Order of criminal forfeiture

The court, in imposing a sentence on a defendant who has been found guilty of an offense described in section 1962 of this title or in title II or III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 shall order, in addition to the sentence that is imposed pursuant to the provisions of section 3551, that the defendant forfeit property to the United States in accordance with the provisions of section 1963 of this title or section 413 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1990.)

References in Text

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 91–513, Oct. 27, 1970, 84 Stat. 1236, as amended. Title II of this Act, known as the Controlled Substances Act, is classified principally to subchapter I (§801 et seq.) of chapter 13 of Title 21, Food and Drugs. Title III of this Act, known as the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act, is classified principally to subchapter II (§951 et seq.) of chapter 13 of Title 21. Section 413 of this Act is classified to section 853 of Title 21. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under sections 801 and 951 of Title 21 and Tables.

Effective Date

Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

§3555. Order of notice to victims

The court, in imposing a sentence on a defendant who has been found guilty of an offense involving fraud or other intentionally deceptive practices, may order, in addition to the sentence that is imposed pursuant to the provisions of section 3551, that the defendant give reasonable notice and explanation of the conviction, in such form as the court may approve, to the victims of the offense. The notice may be ordered to be given by mail, by advertising in designated areas or through designated media, or by other appropriate means. In determining whether to require the defendant to give such notice, the court shall consider the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the extent that they are applicable and shall consider the cost involved in giving the notice as it relates to the loss caused by the offense, and shall not require the defendant to bear the costs of notice in excess of $20,000.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1991.)

Effective Date

Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

§3556. Order of restitution

The court, in imposing a sentence on a defendant who has been found guilty of an offense shall order restitution in accordance with section 3663A, and may order restitution in accordance with section 3663. The procedures under section 3664 shall apply to all orders of restitution under this section.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1991; amended Pub. L. 99–646, §20(b), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3596; Pub. L. 104–132, title II, §202, Apr. 24, 1996, 110 Stat. 1227.)

Amendments

1996Pub. L. 104–132 substituted "shall order restitution" for "may order restitution" and "section 3663A, and may order restitution in accordance with section 3663. The procedures under section 3664 shall apply to all orders of restitution under this section" for "sections 3663 and 3664".

1986Pub. L. 99–646 substituted "may order restitution in accordance with sections 3663 and 3664" for "under this title, or an offense under section 902(h), (i), (j), or (n) of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (49 U.S.C. 1472), may order, in addition to the sentence that is imposed pursuant to the provisions of section 3551, that the defendant make restitution to any victim of the offense in accordance with the provisions of sections 3663 and 3664".

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–132 to be effective, to extent constitutionally permissible, for sentencing proceedings in cases in which defendant is convicted on or after Apr. 24, 1996, see section 211 of Pub. L. 104–132, set out as a note under section 2248 of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–646, §20(c), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3596, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 3663 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of section 212(a)(2) of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 [section 212(a)(2) of Pub. L. 98–473, effective Nov. 1, 1987]."

Effective Date

Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

§3557. Review of a sentence

The review of a sentence imposed pursuant to section 3551 is governed by the provisions of section 3742.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1991.)

Effective Date

Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

§3558. Implementation of a sentence

The implementation of a sentence imposed pursuant to section 3551 is governed by the provisions of chapter 229.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1991.)

Effective Date

Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

§3559. Sentencing classification of offenses

(a) Classification.—An offense that is not specifically classified by a letter grade in the section defining it, is classified if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is—

(1) life imprisonment, or if the maximum penalty is death, as a Class A felony;

(2) twenty-five years or more, as a Class B felony;

(3) less than twenty-five years but ten or more years, as a Class C felony;

(4) less than ten years but five or more years, as a Class D felony;

(5) less than five years but more than one year, as a Class E felony;

(6) one year or less but more than six months, as a Class A misdemeanor;

(7) six months or less but more than thirty days, as a Class B misdemeanor;

(8) thirty days or less but more than five days, as a Class C misdemeanor; or

(9) five days or less, or if no imprisonment is authorized, as an infraction.


(b) Effect of Classification.—Except as provided in subsection (c), an offense classified under subsection (a) carries all the incidents assigned to the applicable letter designation, except that the maximum term of imprisonment is the term authorized by the law describing the offense.

(c) Imprisonment of Certain Violent Felons.—

(1) Mandatory life imprisonment.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who is convicted in a court of the United States of a serious violent felony shall be sentenced to life imprisonment if—

(A) the person has been convicted (and those convictions have become final) on separate prior occasions in a court of the United States or of a State of—

(i) 2 or more serious violent felonies; or

(ii) one or more serious violent felonies and one or more serious drug offenses; and


(B) each serious violent felony or serious drug offense used as a basis for sentencing under this subsection, other than the first, was committed after the defendant's conviction of the preceding serious violent felony or serious drug offense.


(2) Definitions.—For purposes of this subsection—

(A) the term "assault with intent to commit rape" means an offense that has as its elements engaging in physical contact with another person or using or brandishing a weapon against another person with intent to commit aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse (as described in sections 2241 and 2242);

(B) the term "arson" means an offense that has as its elements maliciously damaging or destroying any building, inhabited structure, vehicle, vessel, or real property by means of fire or an explosive;

(C) the term "extortion" means an offense that has as its elements the extraction of anything of value from another person by threatening or placing that person in fear of injury to any person or kidnapping of any person;

(D) the term "firearms use" means an offense that has as its elements those described in section 924(c) or 929(a), if the firearm was brandished, discharged, or otherwise used as a weapon and the crime of violence or drug trafficking crime during and relation to which the firearm was used was subject to prosecution in a court of the United States or a court of a State, or both;

(E) the term "kidnapping" means an offense that has as its elements the abduction, restraining, confining, or carrying away of another person by force or threat of force;

(F) the term "serious violent felony" means—

(i) a Federal or State offense, by whatever designation and wherever committed, consisting of murder (as described in section 1111); manslaughter other than involuntary manslaughter (as described in section 1112); assault with intent to commit murder (as described in section 113(a)); assault with intent to commit rape; aggravated sexual abuse and sexual abuse (as described in sections 2241 and 2242); abusive sexual contact (as described in sections 2244(a)(1) and (a)(2)); kidnapping; aircraft piracy (as described in section 46502 of Title 49); robbery (as described in section 2111, 2113, or 2118); carjacking (as described in section 2119); extortion; arson; firearms use; firearms possession (as described in section 924(c)); or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above offenses; and

(ii) any other offense punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another or that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may be used in the course of committing the offense;


(G) the term "State" means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and a commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States; and

(H) the term "serious drug offense" means—

(i) an offense that is punishable under section 401(b)(1)(A) or 408 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1)(A), 848) or section 1010(b)(1)(A) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960(b)(1)(A)); or

(ii) an offense under State law that, had the offense been prosecuted in a court of the United States, would have been punishable under section 401(b)(1)(A) or 408 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1)(A), 848) or section 1010(b)(1)(A) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960(b)(1)(A)).


(3) Nonqualifying felonies.—

(A) Robbery in certain cases.—Robbery, an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit robbery; or an offense described in paragraph (2)(F)(ii) shall not serve as a basis for sentencing under this subsection if the defendant establishes by clear and convincing evidence that—

(i) no firearm or other dangerous weapon was used in the offense and no threat of use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon was involved in the offense; and

(ii) the offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365) to any person.


(B) Arson in certain cases.—Arson shall not serve as a basis for sentencing under this subsection if the defendant establishes by clear and convincing evidence that—

(i) the offense posed no threat to human life; and

(ii) the defendant reasonably believed the offense posed no threat to human life.


(4) Information filed by united states attorney.—The provisions of section 411(a) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 851(a)) shall apply to the imposition of sentence under this subsection.

(5) Rule of construction.—This subsection shall not be construed to preclude imposition of the death penalty.

(6) Special provision for indian country.—No person subject to the criminal jurisdiction of an Indian tribal government shall be subject to this subsection for any offense for which Federal jurisdiction is solely predicated on Indian country (as defined in section 1151) and which occurs within the boundaries of such Indian country unless the governing body of the tribe has elected that this subsection have effect over land and persons subject to the criminal jurisdiction of the tribe.

(7) Resentencing upon overturning of prior conviction.—If the conviction for a serious violent felony or serious drug offense that was a basis for sentencing under this subsection is found, pursuant to any appropriate State or Federal procedure, to be unconstitutional or is vitiated on the explicit basis of innocence, or if the convicted person is pardoned on the explicit basis of innocence, the person serving a sentence imposed under this subsection shall be resentenced to any sentence that was available at the time of the original sentencing.


(d) Death or Imprisonment for Crimes Against Children.—

(1) In general.—Subject to paragraph (2) and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who is convicted of a Federal offense that is a serious violent felony (as defined in subsection (c)) or a violation of section 2422, 2423, or 2251 shall, unless the sentence of death is imposed, be sentenced to imprisonment for life, if—

(A) the victim of the offense has not attained the age of 14 years;

(B) the victim dies as a result of the offense; and

(C) the defendant, in the course of the offense, engages in conduct described in section 3591(a)(2).


(2) Exception.—With respect to a person convicted of a Federal offense described in paragraph (1), the court may impose any lesser sentence that is authorized by law to take into account any substantial assistance provided by the defendant in the investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed an offense, in accordance with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the policy statements of the Federal Sentencing Commission pursuant to section 994(p) of title 28, or for other good cause.


(e) Mandatory Life Imprisonment for Repeated Sex Offenses Against Children.—

(1) In general.—A person who is convicted of a Federal sex offense in which a minor is the victim shall be sentenced to life imprisonment if the person has a prior sex conviction in which a minor was the victim, unless the sentence of death is imposed.

(2) Definitions.—For the purposes of this subsection—

(A) the term "Federal sex offense" means an offense under section 1591 (relating to sex trafficking of children), 2241 (relating to aggravated sexual abuse), 2242 (relating to sexual abuse), 2244(a)(1) (relating to abusive sexual contact), 2245 (relating to sexual abuse resulting in death), 2251 (relating to sexual exploitation of children), 2251A (relating to selling or buying of children), 2422(b) (relating to coercion and enticement of a minor into prostitution), or 2423(a) (relating to transportation of minors);

(B) the term "State sex offense" means an offense under State law that is punishable by more than one year in prison and consists of conduct that would be a Federal sex offense if, to the extent or in the manner specified in the applicable provision of this title—

(i) the offense involved interstate or foreign commerce, or the use of the mails; or

(ii) the conduct occurred in any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States, within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in a Federal prison, on any land or building owned by, leased to, or otherwise used by or under the control of the Government of the United States, or in the Indian country (as defined in section 1151);


(C) the term "prior sex conviction" means a conviction for which the sentence was imposed before the conduct occurred constituting the subsequent Federal sex offense, and which was for a Federal sex offense or a State sex offense;

(D) the term "minor" means an individual who has not attained the age of 17 years; and

(E) the term "State" has the meaning given that term in subsection (c)(2).


(3) Nonqualifying Felonies.—An offense described in section 2422(b) or 2423(a) shall not serve as a basis for sentencing under this subsection if the defendant establishes by clear and convincing evidence that—

(A) the sexual act or activity was consensual and not for the purpose of commercial or pecuniary gain;

(B) the sexual act or activity would not be punishable by more than one year in prison under the law of the State in which it occurred; or

(C) no sexual act or activity occurred.


(f) Mandatory Minimum Terms of Imprisonment for Violent Crimes Against Children.—A person who is convicted of a Federal offense that is a crime of violence against the person of an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years shall, unless a greater mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment is otherwise provided by law and regardless of any maximum term of imprisonment otherwise provided for the offense—

(1) if the crime of violence is murder, be imprisoned for life or for any term of years not less than 30, except that such person shall be punished by death or life imprisonment if the circumstances satisfy any of subparagraphs (A) through (D) of section 3591(a)(2) of this title;

(2) if the crime of violence is kidnapping (as defined in section 1201) or maiming (as defined in section 114), be imprisoned for life or any term of years not less than 25; and

(3) if the crime of violence results in serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365), or if a dangerous weapon was used during and in relation to the crime of violence, be imprisoned for life or for any term of years not less than 10.


(g)(1) If a defendant who is convicted of a felony offense (other than offense of which an element is the false registration of a domain name) knowingly falsely registered a domain name and knowingly used that domain name in the course of that offense, the maximum imprisonment otherwise provided by law for that offense shall be doubled or increased by 7 years, whichever is less.

(2) As used in this section—

(A) the term "falsely registers" means registers in a manner that prevents the effective identification of or contact with the person who registers; and

(B) the term "domain name" has the meaning given that term is 1 section 45 of the Act entitled "An Act to provide for the registration and protection of trademarks used in commerce, to carry out the provisions of certain international conventions, and for other purposes" approved July 5, 1946 (commonly referred to as the "Trademark Act of 1946") (15 U.S.C. 1127).

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1991; amended Pub. L. 100–185, §5, Dec. 11, 1987, 101 Stat. 1279; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7041, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4399; Pub. L. 103–322, title VII, §70001, Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1982; Pub. L. 105–314, title V, §501, Oct. 30, 1998, 112 Stat. 2980; Pub. L. 105–386, §1(b), Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3470; Pub. L. 108–21, title I, §106(a), Apr. 30, 2003, 117 Stat. 654; Pub. L. 108–482, title II, §204(a), Dec. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 3917; Pub. L. 109–248, title II, §§202, 206(c), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 612, 614.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (e)(2)(A). Pub. L. 109–248, §206(c), inserted "1591 (relating to sex trafficking of children)," after "under section".

Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 109–248, §202, added subsec. (f) and redesignated former subsec. (f) as (g).

2004—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 108–482 added subsec. (f).

2003—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108–21 added subsec. (e).

1998—Subsec. (c)(2)(F)(i). Pub. L. 105–386 inserted "firearms possession (as described in section 924(c));" after "firearms use;".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 105–314 added subsec. (d).

1994—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–322, §70001(1), substituted "Except as provided in subsection (c), an" for "An".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–322, §70001(2), added subsec. (c).

1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–690, §7041(a)(1), substituted "classified if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is—" for "classified—

"(1) if the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is—".

Subsec. (a)(1) to (9). Pub. L. 100–690, §7041(a)(2), (b), redesignated subpars. (A) to (I) as pars. (1) to (9), respectively, and substituted "twenty-five" for "twenty" in pars. (2) and (3).

1987—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–185 substituted ", except that the maximum term of imprisonment is the term authorized by the law describing the offense." for "except that:

"(1) the maximum fine that may be imposed is the fine authorized by the statute describing the offense, or by this chapter, whichever is the greater; and

"(2) the maximum term of imprisonment is the term authorized by the statute describing the offense."

Effective Date

Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be "in".