Also known as RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). A system of organized crime involving a pattern of illegal activity carried out as part of a larger criminal enterprise.

Real Offense Sentencing

An approach to sentencing that accounts for all of a defendant’s conduct in relation to the offense of conviction, not just the specific conduct of which the defendant has been convicted (which would be a “charged offense” approach). The Guidelines Manual does not take a pure “real offense” approach and, instead, takes a modified real offense approach that generally accounts for some but not all of the defendant’s real offense conduct. See USSG, Ch. 1, Pt. A.4.


The return to criminal behavior as reflected by re-arrest, re-conviction, or re-incarceration.


Conduct characterized by a substantial risk of harm to others by a conscious disregard or indifference to that risk. See, e.g., USSG §3C1.2 (Reckless Endangerment During Flight).

Relevant Conduct

The guidelines provision located at §1B1.3 of the Guidelines Manual, which specifies the conduct for which a defendant may be held accountable in the determination of the offense-severity level. The court may find the facts constituting relevant conduct by a preponderance of the evidence standard; a jury trial is not required. Relevant conduct may include the defendant’s conduct as well as the conduct of other participants in a jointly undertaken criminal activity.


Money owed to a victim of an offense to compensate for damages caused by the defendant. Restitution may be ordered as a part of a sentence, and in some types of cases, is mandatory.

Retroactive Guideline

When the Commission has amended the Guidelines Manual to reduce guideline terms of imprisonment for some defendants, it is authorized (but not required) to make that amendment retroactive. If the defendant exercises its discretion to do so, eligible defendants may move their sentencing courts to be resentenced under the retroactively amended guideline. See USSG §1B1.10.


An annulment, cancellation or reversal of an act. With regard to probation or supervised release, the term generally refers to the judicial act of canceling the supervision in response to the offender violating the terms of supervision, and imposing a term of incarceration.

Revocation Table

The table is found at Chapter Seven, Part B of the Guidelines Manual (§7B1.4). The table displays imprisonment ranges, stated in months, that apply to a case in which the defendant’s term of probation or supervised release has been revoked. To find the applicable imprisonment range, the judge must determine the Classification of the Violation and the defendant’s Criminal History Category from the original sentencing.

Role in the Offense

The defendant’s role in the offense, which can either be an aggravating factor (§3B1.1) or a mitigating factor (§3B1.2).