Departures and Variances
(March 2020) This primer contains a summary of guideline provisions and annotations to judicial opinions addressing some of the most commonly applied grounds for departure. It also addresses issues relating to variances outside the guideline range. The document was developed to help judges, lawyers, and probation officers locate relevant authorities when applying the federal sentencing guidelines. It does not include all authorities needed to correctly apply the guidelines, and is not a substitute for reading and interpreting the Guidelines Manual, statutes, and case law.