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Charged with Drug Possession? Defending Your Rights In the News

Federal Drug Trafficking Sentence Reductions

Miami Drug Crime Attorney

November 1, 2014 was the last day Congress had to override the United States Sentencing Commission's amendment to reduce federal drug sentences. The amendment passed and under the new law (going into effect in November, 2015) not only will federal drug penalties be reduced in convictions going forward, but prior convictions of those currently incarcerated are now eligible for consideration of reduced sentences and time served.

The reform comes as our prison systems reach towards a tipping point: the Federal Bureau of Prisons has recently reported that our national prison population is 32% over capacity. This was a major factor in the passing of this law, which is estimated to reduce these numbers.

Other benefits estimated by the Commission inlcude:

  • 46,290 incarcerated offenders will be eligible for review
  • Adjusted sentences could be reduced by almost 19% (25 months)
  • The new law will reduce total incarcerated years ("bed years") by nearly 80,000 years

Between April and July, the possibility of retroactively amending sentences inspired more than 60,000 letters from both citizens and politicians in support. Not only is this new amendment good news for countless offenders who received overly harsh sentences for drug trafficking crimes, but also unburdens the prison system to allocate more resources to fewer prisoners.

What happens next?

Now that the amendment has been allowed by Congress, those federal prisoners who believe they are eligible for review can start petitioning retroactive sentencing. Successful petitioning can result in a reduction of time in prison or even time served.

There will be a year delay before action is taken by the government. This period will provide judges around the country to review all the new petitions. Additionally, the time will be utilized by the Federal Office of Probation and Pretrial Services and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to ensure that they are adequately prepared for all necessary transitional services and supervision for released offenders.

The earliest that sentence reductions will take effect is November 1st, 2015.

Who is eligible for reduced sentences?

The new amendment is not a "free pass" for those already convicted of drug trafficking crimes—careful consideration will go into each and every review. There are two important things to note as this process begins. One is that it is unlikely that those incarcerated that also have extensive prior records, additional charges, or have a history of violent or sexual crimes are unlikely to receive reduced sentences. Whenever the prosecution believed the accused was a risk to public safety, a judge is likely to adhere to the preventative amendment guidelines.

Secondly, the amendment does not lower federal minimum sentencing. This means that only those convicted of federal drug crimes who received more that minimum sentence are eligible for reductions. The courts will uphold all minimum sentencing for these crimes.

How to Petition for a Reduction

The high focus on maintaining public safety means that offenders interested in petitioning must present their best case to a judge that showcases an honest readiness and ability to reenter society. Thus, it is essential that you hire a Miami drug crime attorney who is committed to your case and can provide legal guidance for reflecting the quality of character that a judge will seek in their assessments. At Seltzer Mayberg, LLC, we have the experience and dedication to provide you with defense counsel you can trust.

Get your free case evaluation!

Contact our Miami drug trafficking attorney today for assistance with compiling all necessary documents and evidence to show a judge that you or your loved ones deserve a reduced sentence for drug offenses. We are dedicated to ensuring that worthy and eligible offenders get a fair reduction through this new amendment.

Call us today and we can help you seek freedom.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.