When Mario Hernandez reached out to Michael Santos and I he was facing ten years in prison. When we met Mario, he expressed a willingness to prepare and take appropriate action to prepare for his sentencing in San Diego. Mario had a positive relationship with his defense attorney. Still, he knew his outcome would also be contingent on how hard he worked to convey his remorse, lessons learned and his plans moving forward.

Mario was sentenced to just two years in prison—he ended up serving just 11 months.

Recently, Insider.com ran an article on Mario. In the article he said, “the major reason the Judge showed leniency was that he saw a human being, he got to know me and didn’t just see another case.”

  • Does your Judge know you as a human being?
  • Will your case manager in prison see why you are worthy of early release?

Last week two bankers under indictment wanted to hire White Collar Advice to create a comprehensive mitigation plan. Like Mario, they wanted to express through their own efforts how they identify with victims and lay out a clear path towards making amends. Instead of proceeding, however, I go this message: “Justin we are all in and the $ is not an issue. Our lawyer, however, told us it is way too early to prepare. He told us to revisit in 6-9 months from now when we know what is happening. Until then I will keep reading your blogs and watch your videos.”

It was not too early to hire a defense attorney to prepare for trial or a sentencing, yet it was too early to begin creating a new record that would influence a probation officer and Judge? Odd, but I hear it a lot.

Mario Hernandez clearly recognized he had to take a different course of action. Rather than wait for others to tell him what to do, he invested the time and energy to prepare. He worked through our sentencing program and our Straight A Guide Mitigation Program.

To close, every defendant wants the shortest sentence in the most favorable prison. Every defendant wants the most halfway house time and they want to get off probation early. They want a new career, an improved reputation and more. Mario had those same goals. To his credit, he did not just talk about it. He followed through and worked to express who he was as a person-through his own efforts.

Our team was fortunate to guide Mario through his journey. The success he had in federal prison and now upon his release from federal prison proves what is possible with hard work and the right plan.

You can read the article here.

Thank you,

P.S. Click here to learn more about our sentencing program.