Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Offenses Not Always Fair

There’s been considerable debate about the topic of how those convicted of drug charges are ultimately sentenced. This is especially true given that the United States is the only developed country that requires mandatory sentencing for minor, non-violent drug offenses. Shortly after President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 “War on Drugs” declaration, Congress enacted mandatory sentencing guidelines for relatively small-time, non-violent drug crimes. In subsequent years, even tougher penalties have been enacted with cases of minor offenders receiving multiple life sentences while violent and more serious criminals have sometimes been given far more lenient sentences.

If you have been charged with a drug offense as a first time offender, there are some things you should immediately know. First, be sure to seek an attorney who focuses on defending people against drug charges. He or she will be able to discuss your options and your rights, including the possibility of entering a special program for first time offenders such as TASC diversion program or drug court. This will allow you to avoid jail time or receive the minimum sentence possible. If you are not eligible for a diversion program because of prior felony convictions or the amount of the controlled substance involved, it is important that you understand the sentencing guidelines. If you have been charged with a federal drug crime, the penalties are more severe and judges have less discretion, with mandatory sentencing being the normal course of action.

The lawyers at Alcock & Associates in Phoenix, Arizona, have years of experience handling all types and levels of drug cases. We have a thorough knowledge of diversion programs for first and second time offenders. Although most judges follow drug-sentencing guidelines to the letter, they do consider mitigating circumstances when imposing penalties. Our lawyers have successfully argued on many occasions that mitigating circumstances, such as the willingness of our client to undertake drug rehabilitation should lead to a reduced penalty.

Alcock & Associates takes the time to discuss state and federal drug sentencing guidelines with clients, providing you with an honest assessment of your legal matter. Give us a call today at 602-989-5000 for representation that will offer you as many legal options as possible.

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Alcock & Associates P.C.
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