“Mandatory Minimum” Sentences To End For Many Drug Offenders
Federal prosecutors are no longer going to seek “mandatory minimum” sentences for many low-level and nonviolent drug offenders. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce this major shift in the United States criminal drug offender policy today.
Holder cites the years of explosive growth in the federal prison population and the ballooning costs associated with this increase in incarceration. Holder further stated that too many people go to too many prisons for too long, and, a lot of times, for “no good law enforcement reason.”
Under Holder’s new policy, prosecutors would send fewer drug offenders to federal prison for long terms and send an increasing number of these offenders to drug treatment and community service programs instead. This change in policy also addresses a long-standing goal of civil rights groups who say that long prison sentences disproportionately hurt low-income and minorities.
The “war on drugs” that started in the 1980s brought about strict federal laws that required judges to impose long prison sentences on anyone caught with certain amounts of illegal drugs, regardless of the circumstances. The public’s demand for these long sentences has decreased recently as stories of unfairness and skyrocketing costs have become more apparent.
In other words, drug offenses look to be much more manageable in the near future. With the policy shifting on federal drug offenses, local offenders will also likely see more non-custody options associated with disposing of their case such as Deferred Entry of Judgement (DEJ), PC 1000, and Proposition 36. With the help of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney, many of these options can be made available to you and, if needed, effective substance abuse programs and rehabilitation.
If you have been charged with drug possession, drug transportation, possession for sale or with the intent to sell, contact attorney Ross Erlich before you go to court and before you make any statements to law enforcement. It is important to have a skilled attorney help you in the Airport court, CCB, Downtown Courts, Pasadena Court and all Los Angeles County courts.