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Never Too Old When it Comes to Criminal History

A career criminal must serve a sentence above the guidelines for his latest offense after a federal appeals panel ruled a district court judge was within his rights in considering the Indiana man’s history in applying the stiffer stretch. Eduardo Ramirez was charged with felony weapons possession after cops found a handgun in the car he’d crashed in 2019. This after a chase that followed the wreck in which attempts to elude saw Ramirez run down a passenger that had exited his car after the crash.

While prosecutors and defense counsel requested sentences at either end of the guidelines for the offense, the judge cited the extreme nature of the ensuing chase in applying a two-level enhancement based on the man’s past offenses. Ramirez appealed the six-year sentence, centering his claim in part that the 57-month stretch called for at the top of the sentencing range would permit his aging out of criminal behavior because he would be 49 years old at the time of release.

Judges in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, citing statistics that show recidivism rates halve among offenders that are released after the age of 50. They added the district court was justified in its variance from guidelines given both the severity of Ramirez’s past offenses and the risk of death or bodily injury to more than one person that resulted in his flight from police.

The case offers an insight into judicial tendencies both in district courts and among the justices charged with hearing appeals in federal court. The DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Chicagoland Law Firm consider those tendencies when arguing cases in courts around the state of Illinois, including on federal appeal. To learn more about how our team of legal professionals builds criminal defense strategies, contact our offices in Downers Grove and downtown Chicago for a free consultation. We are your best defense.