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Are minimum mandatory sentences still occuring in Federal Courts?

Many folks monitoring the situation regarding minimum mandatory sentences were excited about Attorney General Holder’s recent speeches concerning the sentences.  Ultimately, Attorney General Holder’s announcement will only affect those criminal drug cases in the federal criminal justice system. For example, those charged in state court will certainly not see the benefit of Attorney General Holder’s recommendation and assessment. Many criminal defense attorneys, myself included, have previously voiced their complaints in the last several years that the federal changing guidelines are barbaric, draconian and fail to take into account the individual characteristics of an offense.  The current sentencing structure results in lengthy sentences, where there are certainly rehabilitative options available.

For example, many times individuals face trafficking charges on certain prescription drugs for simply possessing a prescription pill bottle full of prescription drugs. This puts those individuals in a difficult situation because they face steep minimum mandatories where they have essentially two (2)  choices: either cooperate with law enforcement and “flip” or face lengthy prison sentences.  Many times minimum mandatory sentencing periods also prevent individuals from gaining the benefits of “good” or “gain” time.

Ultimately, the real irony in Attorney General Holder’s announcement is that the majority of those small federal cases that they were discussing are actually usually handled by Assistant State Attorneys in Florida. For example, cases involving small amounts of methamphetamine will likely be handled by an Assistant State Attorney at the state level because Federal resources, especially those in the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are so stressed and overextended in the post 9/11 world.  Thus, many larger cases will still fall under barbaric, outdated minimum mandatory sentencing patterns criticized by Attorney General Holder this week.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning minimum mandatories, we would first direct you to those blog articles on our website that explain the difference between minimum mandatories and regular sentences, including the loss of “good” and “gain” time. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact the drug offense attorneys of Hackworth Law, P.A. for free case consultation.  We’ve handled many of these matters and cases regarding drugs ranging from cocaine to methamphetamine to marijuana and all ones in between. We appreciate your time and attention in considering the blog articles, we hope they’ve been of some assistance to you in this very important matter. If you have any questions or wish to further discuss these matters, please do not hesitate to contact our office via the Contact Us Now tab conveniently located on our website. We appreciate your time.