Codes for Common Reasons for Departure from the Sentencing Guidelines

Maryland's sentencing guidelines are voluntary. The judiciary is expected to use the sentence recommendation as a guide, but is not mandated to sentence within the recommended guidelines range. Below is a list of common reasons for departure and their corresponding codes for use on the worksheet. While it is not intended to be a complete list, it does provide commonly used departure reasons. These departures cannot be used by offenders on appeal.

Below Guidelines
1 The parties reached a plea agreement that called for a reduced sentence.
2 Offender's minor role in the offense.
3 Offender was influenced by coercion or duress.
4 Offender had diminished capability for judgment.
5 Offender made restorative efforts after the offense.
6 Victim's participation in the offense lessens the offender's culpability.
7 Offender's commitment to substance abuse treatment or other therapeutic program.
8 Recommendation of State's Attorney or Division of Parole and Probation.
9 Other circumstances of the crime and/or the offenders do not warrant a sentence within the guidelines (explain in the space provided).
Above Guidelines
10 Offender's major role in the offense.
11 The level of harm was excessive.
12 Special circumstances of the victim.
13 Offender exploited a position of trust.
14 Offender committed a "white collar" offense.
15 Offender's significant participation in major controlled substance offense.
16 The vicious or heinous nature of the conduct.
17 Recommendation of the State's Attorney or Division of Parole and Probation.
18 Other circumstances of the crime and/or the offenders do not warrant a sentence within the guidelines (explain in the space provided).