Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences
In charges that can lead to Mandatory Minimum Sentences, retaining the correct federal criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the federal criminal justice system is even more so imperative. A federal judge is bound by certain pre-defined sentences for guilty verdicts for specific criminal convictions. An experienced criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in federal trials will work vigorously to have charges reduced to avoid this situation from becoming a reality. Of course, the chief purpose will always be to work toward a not guilty verdict, or have charges dismissed, or find a way to plead to a lesser charge, but when any of those results cannot be achieved, succeeding with the first scenario is paramount.
Simply defined, a federal Mandatory Minimum Sentence requires a judge to impose a binding prison term of a precise length of time in prison for those convicted of numerous federal crimes. These sentences were primarily related to narcotics offenses but over the years have been expanded to also include certain firearms charges, sexual offenses such as child pornography and other non-sexual crimes against children, immigration matters, homicides, economic crimes such as identity theft, kidnapping and others, including the three strike law which is when an individual is convicted of a third violent felony which imposes a lifetime sentence. The three strike law was added to the list in 1994.
These sentences have increased significantly over the past twenty years and more of them have been added to the list in the twenty-first century. For example, in the year 2000 being convicted of the manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute the "date rape" drug, GHB, where the result was serious bodily injury or death from its sale or usage results with a Mandatory Minimum Sentence (MM sentence) of twenty years. Before the year 2000, the penalty for this type of conviction was solely at the judge's discretion.
Between the years of 2003 through 2006, multiple MM sentences were added involving sex offenses involving children as well as child pornography convictions with MM sentences beginning at five years and in worst case scenarios; life in prison, including a crime that resulted in the death of a minor under 18 years of age, which presented a MM sentence of thirty years in prison or the death penalty if the crime met certain criteria found in the US Code.
A two year MM sentence was decided for aggravated identity theft in 2004 and if the conviction was decided during an act of terrorism, the MM sentence is five years, in both cases to be added to any other penalties assessed from the underlying crime.
In other additions to the register added after the advent of the twenty-first century of what are now mandatory minimum penalties; not directly related to illegal narcotics but involving them in tandem with a firearms charge was a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years for the usage or possession of armor piercing bullets in the course of a drug trafficking offense or a crime of violence. This MM sentence was added in 2005.
The additions of the many MM sentences added to the full list have increased the prison population in our country greatly.
These examples are a just a small sampling of the full list where MM Sentences can be imposed. To view the most up-to-date list available of all Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences, click here to read about them on the Families against Mandatory Minimums Website.
With almost forty combined years in the legal field working as an Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting cases for the government and for close to the last fifteen years practicing as a criminal defense attorney, concentrating on federal cases, my law firm specializes in federal criminal defense and is the proper choice to counter all accusations of these types of charges when a prosecution is launched by the federal government.
To view all of my qualifications and understand what should be done next if you or someone you care about is charged with any federal charge that may result with a Mandatory Minimum Sentence, or are facing any other federal criminal charges, click here.
*Superior federal criminal defense in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach as well as all surrounding areas of South Florida and throughout the state.
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