Fines Under the Organizational Guidelines

Fines Under the Organizational Guidelines

(September 2017) Chapter Eight of the Guidelines Manual sets forth the guidelines and policy statements that are applicable when the convicted defendant is an organization and provides the criteria by which organizations convicted of federal criminal offenses will be punished. These guidelines, which were initially promulgated by the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 1991, were developed after extensive consultation with industry representatives, defense attorneys, federal judges, prosecutors, and federal probation officers. They are “designed so that the sanctions imposed upon organizations and their agents, taken together, will provide just punishment, adequate deterrence, and incentives for organizations to maintain internal mechanisms for preventing, detecting, and reporting criminal conduct.”

This primer focuses exclusively on the second general principle note above — the manner in which a sentencing court calculates the appropriate fine for an organizational defendant. This determination is made pursuant to Chapter Eight, Part C of the Guidelines Manual.