If you are charged with a federal drug crime, you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years, depending on the facts of your case. The sentencing minimums imposed under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are so harsh that there is current pending legislation to reduce the mandatory minimums. Additionally, a growing number of judges have backed the need to reform harsh federal drug sentencing laws that were adopted at the height of the “War on Drugs” in the 1980s.
Why You Need an Experienced Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Unfortunately, these proposed changes offer little comfort if you currently are a target or suspect in an investigation conducted by federal law enforcement agencies. If you have learned that you could be charged with a federal drug crime or other federal offense that carries a mandatory minimum, chances are that you are justifiably worried. Federal charges are nothing like state charges because federal judges have less discretion in sentencing, so the judge will not disregard a mandatory minimum sentence even if the judge feels that mitigating circumstances make the punishment too harsh.
When you are facing a mandatory minimum, decades in prison, or a life term, you cannot afford to gamble with an attorney who has limited experience in Federal Court. The rules of evidence, rules of criminal procedure, court practices, and prosecutorial strategies in Federal Court can diverge dramatically from State Court. For example, you cannot expect to serve a small portion of your sentence before receiving early release if you are convicted of a drug crime in New York’s Southern District or Eastern District. The judge will determine your sentencing range based on the quantity of the drugs involved in your case, along with other factors, such as prior convictions, and then the judge will impose a sentence within the range provided under the Federal Sentence Guidelines. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are complicated and contain many exceptions and factors that the judge must consider, so you should speak with a federal criminal defense attorney who can explain the potential penalties that may threaten your freedom.
Mandatory Minimums Can Mean Disproportionate Penalties
Federal judges do not have the discretion that state court judges have to disregard the sentencing parameters designated in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines when the judge feels the punishment is not proportionate to the offense. While mandatory minimum sentencing is common in drug cases, this harsh sentencing regime applies to many federal crimes. When you are facing federal charges that carry a mandatory minimum term in the federal penitentiary, you need the experienced federal criminal defense attorneys of Greco Neyland, PC. The attorneys that founded our law firm are former prosecutors who use the experience that they gained by prosecuting drug cases in order to keep our clients out of prison. We routinely challenge evidence obtained through illegal wiretaps, coerced confessions, and through unlawful searches conducted by the DEA, FBI, and other federal law enforcement agencies.
You might think that you do not have to worry about this type of harsh sentencing because you carried out a fairly low level function in a drug operation. However, the United States Attorney’s Office often brings drug conspiracy charges that link together a network of people. Those involved in the conspiracy will face exposure to the mandatory minimum for the substantive offense even if the person had a very minor role. According to Human Rights Watch, approximate half of all people charged with federal drug offenses have relatively low-level roles, such as drug couriers or street level dealers. Nonetheless, approximately three out of every four of these defendants receive a mandatory minimum sentence. With odds like these stacked against you, you need our experienced criminal defense attorneys behind you today!
Providing Diligent Defense in the Face of Mandatory Minimum Sentences
If you are under investigation or you have been charged with a federal crime, our federal criminal defense lawyers are prepared to aggressively challenge questionable police procedures and the sufficiency of the evidence against you. We invite you to call us today, so that we can start fighting for your freedom immediately. For your convenience, our offices are located close to the Southern District Federal Courthouse and the Eastern District Federal Courthouse. Please call us today at (914) 358-9146, or click here, to schedule your free consultation.