As a continuation of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences and Federal Sentencing Guidelines (Part 1), the following provides some additional important information regarding federal mandatory minimums and sentencing guidelines. While Part 1 of this blog concentrated on discussing the differences between mandatory minimums and sentencing guidelines, as well as providing some of the specific mandatory minimums for federal drug offenses, here in Part 2, we will discuss the only two ways that convicted individuals can get sentences that are less than the federal mandatory minimums.

Getting Around Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences 

The only way that a person convicted of a federal drug crime can be sentenced to less than the federal mandatory minimum prison sentence is if:

  • The convicted individual cooperates with the authorities by substantially assisting them in investigations regarding others suspected of committing federal drug crimes. In these cases, the authorities must deem the individual’s cooperation to be sufficient, and then they can only recommend that courts impose a sentence that is less than the mandatory minimum for the crime in question.
  • The convicted individual meets all of the requirements of the “safety valve.” The safety valve is a law that allows judges to impose less than the mandatory minimum sentence if the convicted individual:
    • Did not hurt anyone during the commission of the drug offense.
    • Has a minimal or no criminal record.
    • Did not use a firearm or any type of violence in the commission of the drug offense.
    • Did not organize, lead or plan the drug crime.
    • Told the prosecutor everything he knows about the drug crime.

If the convicted individual meets all of these requirements, then a judge may use the federal sentencing guidelines – instead of mandatory minimum sentences – when deciding how much prison time to hand down for a particular crime.

Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers

The authorities take allegations of felony crimes, particularly when they have allegedly been committed by individuals who have a criminal record or when they involve victims, extremely seriously, and these charges – even if a person is ultimately acquitted of them – can have a devastating impact on a person’s personal and professional life. If you or a loved one has been accused of any felony or misdemeanor crime in Denver, you will need an experienced defense attorney who is dedicated to defending your rights.

At the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara, our skilled Denver criminal defense lawyers are committed to providing the accused with the best possible defense and to working tirelessly to helping them resolve their case as favorably as possible. As soon as you start working with our trusted criminal defense lawyers, we will begin investigating your case, interviewing witnesses and compiling evidence to support your defense. We will also work diligently to get the prosecution’s evidence against you thrown out of court and, whenever possible, to get the charges against you reduce or potentially even dismissed entirely. To learn more about your legal rights and receive expert advice on how to proceed with your case, contact us at (720) 379-8262.