Federal Drug Trafficking Offenses Quantity Table Reduced 2 Levels

Federal Criminal Attorney Hope Lefeber Discusses Proposed Amendments to Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Federal drug cases result in too many Americans going to prison for too long, and at times for no truly good public safety reason. Hope Lefeber

United States Sentencing Commission votes to reduce drug quantity table by two levels for most federal drug trafficking offenses.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 30, 2014

The United States Sentencing Commission has voted to reduce drug quantity tables by two levels for most federal drug trafficking offenses.http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/March/14-ag-263.html The drug sentencing guidelinesunder amendment still would remain linked to statutory mandatory minimum penalties.

The Commission estimates that approximately 70 percent of federal drug trafficking defendants would qualify for reduced sentences under the change, with their sentences decreasing an average of 11 months, or 17 percent, from 62 to 51 months. The Commission projects that the Bureau of Prisons population would drop by 6,550 inmates by the end of five years.

The Drug Quantity Table amendment would:
• Generally reduce by two levels the base offense levels for all drug types in the Drug Quantity Table in guideline §2D1.1, which governs drug trafficking cases;

Ensure the guideline penalties remain consistent with existing five- and ten-year statutory mandatory minimum drug penalties by structuring the Drug Quantity Table so that offenders eligible for the five- and ten-year mandatory minimum penalties would receive base offense levels 24 and 30 (which correspond to a guideline range of 51 to 63 months and 97 to 121 months, respectively), rather than the existing levels of 26 and 32 (which correspond to 63 to 78 months and 121 to 151, respectively;

• Maintain 38 as the highest base offense level in the drug quantity table for the highest quantities of drugs.

Federal criminal defense attorney Hope C. Lefeber explains that as it stands now, federal drug cases result in too many Americans going to prison for too long, and at times for no truly good public safety reason.

According to testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. before the U.S. Sentencing Commission on March 13, 2014, although the United States comprises just 5 percent of the world’s population, almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners are incarcerated in American prisons.

One in 28 American children currently has a parent behind bars.

State and federal governments spent a combined $80 billion on incarceration in 2010 alone.

Hope Lefeber is a federal criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia and New York City is recognized by Superlawyers and is ranked by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers in the United States.

Ms. Lefeber’s key areas of practice include defense in business and corporate fraud, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, tax fraud and other white collar crimes, conspiracy and drug offenses.

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