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Equal, Affordable, Meaningful Access

Our Mission

  

Wecda provides technical consulting to defense counsel or litigation Support Services to incarcerated individuals.


  

One of the primary components of WECDA is the Habeas Litigation Clinic. 

The majority of our services are geared toward providing meaningful, affordable access to the courts.

Our organization has several experienced,
non-attorney legal professionals who provide post-conviction sentencing services.
We exist because hope does not necessarily run out in the wake of a criminal conviction whether by guilty plea or trial or even in the event of a denial of an appeal. If you are within one year of having been sentenced, or the last action in your case, there is still time to seek relief from your loved one’s imposed term of imprisonment.
 

Our expertise is in providing experienced litigation support services to those seeking relief from sentences imposed in the federal arena. We provide analysis, technical consulting, research assistance, and document preparation for licensed legal counsel and their clients who have been convicted in criminal legal proceedings and are seeking redress such as motions under 28 USC Section 2255, Motion to Vacate, 3582 pursuant to a retroactive change in the law or other forms of relief to lessen the impact of the federal sentencing guidelines on the term the court imposed.
 

Our team of professionals provides specialized services after sentencing and conclusion of the direct appeal, another crucial stage of criminal proceedings.
 

We also provide litigation support services to individuals directly who plan to proceed pro se in seeking redress.

Habeas Litigation Clinic

Additional Information

    

If   you or a loved one has been convicted after facing proceedings in the federal   criminal justice system, and are looking at a term of imprisonment. You may   be interested in pursuing avenues of relief through post-sentencing   mitigation.
 

 If you are in need of someone with a wide range of capabilities and depth of   insight into comprehension of the federal sentencing guidelines and how they   may be used in a manner that may assist you in obtaining a reduction of your   sentence. We are specialists in post-conviction mitigation and understand the   impact of receiving a sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines upon   your life and the lives of those of your family members.
 

 While you are preparing yourself, family and or friends to face the trauma of   your going to prison, or if you have someone who is incarcerated, you should   consider obtaining a review of your imposed term of incarceration to   determine whether or not are any avenues of redress open to you, I am sure   you will find this information of interest.

We have provided assistance individuals   going pro se and through counsel in the field of post-conviction for a   combined fifty years now, and have spent most of our consulting careers   enabling clients to access The services they need. 

We   meet every response for assistance with three important aspects,   professionalism, empathy and integrity.


Post   Sentencing Mitigation can extend to cases in which a guilty plea was entered,   as well as those in which a jury found the accused guilty of a crime. Whether   a case was related to felony or misdemeanor charges in state or federal   court, knows how and where to look for possible relief. We have handled   countless cases involving almost every type of offense, although we   specialize in white collar offenses.

We   carefully examine all records and documents, including the trial transcript,   looking for judicial mistakes, questions that remain unanswered,   misinformation from counsel of record initially. 

We   have immediate, 24 hours per day, access to the computer records of all the   federal courts in the United States. We also have immediate, 24 hours per   day, access to all federal statutes and court rules as well as all federal   and state case law within hours of the court decisions. 

We   determine whether or not the possibility of relief exists in your case by   performing an initial review and analysis of your sentence based on court   documents upon request. 

We   are specialists in federal sentencing guidelines, restitution, forfeiture and   downward departures. Our teams of professionals have firsthand experience   dealing with the Criminal Justice System and stand ready to assist whether at   sentencing, pre incarceration preparation or post conviction mitigation we   can assist you. 


We ;

will prepare a 2255 motion,   second or successive 2255, certificate of appealability, writ of certiorari,   2241 petition or pro se direct appeal for you to file. 

review, what you have prepared   or had prepared by retained counsel or "jail-house lawyer" and   offer a concurrence or offer advice for correction or changes. 

research specific arguments for   you upon your request, or recommend certain arguments as possibilities for   post conviction remedy review your case for errors and identify the type, be   it plain, harmless or structural error. 


We will also tell you of the   dangers of wasting your first filing right to a 2255 on a frivolous issue,   for the standards for a second or successive are almost insurmountable, so be   cautious with your first filing. Please remember, no one can properly prepare   your Motion under 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 without benefit of reviewing your   Pre-sentence Report-Objections to PSR-Plea Agreement-Judgment and Commitment   and preferably, your Sentencing Transcripts. If you need services to research   any particular issue or area of law, please contact someone who has been   where you sit, understand and empathize with you. 

Many of our staff have walked a   mile in your shoes and will attempt to provide the services you need in a   most thorough and professional manner. We thoroughly review your documents to   identify every issue ripe for redress. 



We will thoroughly research   each issue identified, upon drafting your motion, we spend a great deal of   time, presenting case law in your circuit or a sister circuit to substantiate   each issue raised, and present these issues in the appropriate habeas   petition. 

After the initial filings, we   will review your case, at whatever stage of the legal proceeding, and prepare   an analysis of what action, if any may be taken from that point. We will   prepare replies to the government's response to your motions and walk with   you each strep of the way through the proceedings so that you will never feel   abandoned or left on your own to find a resolution.
 

 Contact us today for a  consultation

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Arianne Armstrong Consulting

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Wiggins vs. Smith – “Investigations into mitigating evidence should comprise efforts to discover all reasonable available mitigating evidence and evidence to rebut any aggravating evidence that may be introduced by the prosecutor.” Justice Sandra D. O’Connor, Wiggins v. Smith (2003).

 
 

Federal Sentencing Consultant

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If you, or someone you know is facing criminal proceedings in federal court, you may find the information posted here of interest to you. 

Defense based Mitigation Services

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At Arianne Armstrong Consulting, Federal Mitigation Consultants, our Vision is to offer the most thorough, professional and effective defense-based mitigation services to our clients. We strive to effective advocacy on behalf of our client to achieve the lowest possible sentence by presenting all mitigating factors to the court for consideration of variance/downward departures.  


Our Role as Mitigation Specialists

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In my role as a Mitigation Specialists I work with Defense Counsel, to manifest the most accurate pre-sentencing Report as well as interpret the complexities of the sentencing guidelines..

How We Help You

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We Investigate the client’s background, assess mitigating factors and sentencing arguments for downward departures and alternatives to incarceration.

How We Assist Counsel on your behalf

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We assist counsel with Objections to the presentence report, and we also assist defense attorneys in preparing case strategies prior to plea negotiations and/plea agreements.

Federal Sentencing Mitigation Specialist

SERVICES SPECIFIC TO EACH CLIENT'S SITUATION

  

We prepare mitigation arguments and sentencing memoranda raising characteristics identified through our investigation which are sanctioned under 3553 guidelines as grounds for a lower sentence through departure. 


A mitigation specialist is someone who teams with defense counsel to provide supportive research and significant documented history of the defendant.in relation to obtaining a lower term at sentencing strategy. This is extremely significant in the federal arena because of the impact the sentencing guidelines can have on the term the defendant is facing. This is done in an effort to humanize the defendant in the eyes of the court and present grounds for a lower sentence, mitigation experts identify grounds for departure/variances as sanctioned by the guidelines. 

 
Thorough preparation for sentencing is necessary if you want to increase your chances of receiving a "reasonable" sentence..

We strive for effective advocacy in assisting the client with receiving the lowest possible sentence by presenting all mitigating factors to the court for consideration of variance/downward departures.

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· We have provided mitigation assistance to clients through Defense Counsel since 2008. 

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· When providing mitigation services, we scour all documentation looking for opportunities to better the client's potentially bleak situation.

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· We investigate to provide the sentencing court with characteristics of the defendant, childhood trauma, poverty, any circumstances that may have impacted their growth and development or any crisis that may have come about in their past.

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· And, we also offer unbundles services, last minute pleadings for situations which may rise after counsel has left the case. 

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· This assistance may be in the form of pre-plea consulting, research assistance, and assist with composing alternate presentence reports, sentencing memorandum for clients. We also assist with objections to the presentence report for clients who are seeking in mitigation to lessen the impact of the federal sentencing guidelines on the term the court may impose.

· Because Mitigation in the beginning stages of the proceedings is still a niche industry, the majority of defense attorneys don’t realize that mitigation reports in anticipation of sentencing can be a vital part of sentencing. Federal cases address the statutory sentencing factors enumerated in §3553(a). Presentation of artful expositions of mitigating factors in a client’s personal profile or offense conduct; challenges to the assumptions underlying the guidelines as applied to a particular client; articulating how the statutory objectives of sentencing would be achieved by a non-guidelines sentence; and helping the District Court frame a non-frivolous rationale for leniency.

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· More than 95% of all federal criminal cases end in conviction. Sentencing is often the most critical phase for the defendant. Prior to 2005, federal judges were bound by mandatory sentencing guidelines that severely limited their ability to deviate from the guidelines based on factors and circumstances specific to the defendant. This all changed in 2005 with U.S. v Booker, in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the sentencing guidelines are advisory only, not mandatory.


  

For purposes of sentencing, federal judges must "impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary..." In addition to taking into account sentencing factors such as affording adequate deterrence, providing restitution to victims, and other policy concerns, federal judges must consider the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant. There is no limitation "on the information concerning the background, character, and conduct of a person convicted of an offense which a court may receive and consider for the purpose of imposing an appropriate sentence." Therefore, defendants who present compelling information to the court that may mitigate -or make less severe- the sentence handed down are greatly advantaged over those who do not.
 

Thorough preparation for sentencing is necessary if you want to increase your chances of receiving a "reasonable" sentence.

Please consider these facts;
 

Ninety-three percent of all federal cases result in a guilty plea,

Seventy-five percent of all Criminal Defendants who proceed to trial are convicted,

Ninety-seven percent of criminal defendants, eighty-two percent of federal criminal defendants who are sentenced receive a prison term.

With those odds, shouldn’t you have a sentencing specialist on your team? 

Arianne Armstrong 
Senior Sentencing Consultant & Mitigation Specialist
Arianne Armstrong Senior Sentencing Consultant & Mitigation Specialist

Additional Criminal Justice Services

Professional Affiliations

We are Proud Members of the following:

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National Alliance of Sentencing and Mitigation Specialists
National Association of Sentencing Advocates
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How you can help!


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western center for defense advocacy

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09:00 am – 05:00 pm

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Thu

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