Changes to mandatory minimums proposed by Holder

On behalf of Philip Nathe

Earlier this month Attorney General Eric Holder made the news when he announced plans to revise sentencing guidelines currently in place at the federal level, as they pertain to some low-level nonviolent crime offenders. More specifically, those who will see a difference are those who do not have a connection to large-scale organizations dealing in drugs. Judges will be provided the flexibility to sentence those convicted as they see fit. The concept already has some support from lawmakers as legislation was introduced earlier this year.

As an alternative to the mandatory minimum prison sentences, it is expected that other programs will be put into place as consequences to a conviction. In addition to rehabilitation, community service will also likely be involved.

The pending changes are designed to do several things. The first is to make it easier for federal prosecutors to pursue those accused of being involved in drug crimes at a high-level. In addition, the new approach should help reduce the population of greatly overcrowded prisons throughout the nation. In the short term, that overcrowding may be addressed by the early release of older nonviolent inmates.

While all criminal charges of course have the potential to result in serious consequences, this is particularly true when the charge is at the federal level as opposed to the state level. Because of this, whatever the drug crime, it is important that the accused does what it possible to defend him or herself. In most cases this involves working with a criminal defense lawyer.

Source: The Hill, “Holder to revamp mandatory sentencing guidelines for nonviolent drug offenses” Jordy Yager, Aug. 12, 2013

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Changes to mandatory minimums proposed by Holder