Federal Rule 35 Motion for Sentence Reduction – Information
The court, on a motion from the prosecutor of the government usually made within a year of the imposition of the sentence, may reduce the defendants original sentence to reflect the subsequent “substantial assistance”. This means that the defendant has assisted the government in the investigation and or prosecution of another person who has or is committing a criminal offense.
However, the court may also consider the Rule 35 motion if it is after 1 year of the defendants imposition of original sentence, if the defendants information or evidence provided to the government as substantial assistance wasn’t known to the defendant until more than a year after originally sentenced.
A Rule 35 motion can reduce a defendants sentence below any minimum mandatory sentence that was imposed by the court. For example, if the defendant has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, even if the guidelines only were for 60-72 months, the court can reduce the sentence anywhere under the 120 months for the defendants cooperation.
Cooperation is one of the only ways, and the best way to get sentenced below some of the strict minimum mandatory sentence requirements. A Rule 35 motion once filed by the prosecutor will usually reflect a recommendation to the court on what the government thinks the defendants cooperation is worth in terms of years taken off their sentence. However, the Judge has the ultimate say in determining the actual reduction of a defendants sentence.
There are ways to find help in securing a Rule 35 by the government. A Sentence Reduction consulting service can assist you the whole way through this process and most likely help you do what is called “third party cooperation” for a defendant already in Federal Prison.