Columbus Drug Charge Attorney
EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS FOR DRUG OFFENSES
Two facts drive both the statutory and guideline penalties in federal drug cases—the type and quantity of drugs. If the indictment alleges a quantity of drugs triggering a statutory mandatory minimum sentence, there are only two ways a person can be sentenced below that mandatory minimum: (1) he must be a “safety valve” candidate, meaning he meets all five criteria found in USSG §5C1.2; or (2) he must render cooperation that rises to the level of “substantial assistance” in the investigation and/or prosecution of others and the government must file a motion for a sentence reduction, pursuant to both 18 U.S.C. §3553(e) and USSG §5K1.1.
If a defendant has a prior conviction for a felony drug crime, his mandatory minimum penalties can be significantly enhanced if the government files a notice, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §851, which can double the mandatory minimum penalties or even mandate a life sentence. The impact of this notice is dependent on the classification of the federal drug crime for which the defendant is convicted.