Are You in Jeopardy of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing?
Mandatory minimum sentencing has been a controversial topic for decades. It is often argued that mandatory minimum laws affect minority communities at a far greater rate than other communities and have increased the federal prison population significantly. For instance, crack cocaine is considered a “black” drug, and statistics show that African Americans are punished 18 times more than those who are convicted of powder cocaine. Though there are several reasons you may be subjected to a mandatory minimum sentencing, often times mandatory minimum laws are associated with drug crimes. However, it is now being argued that mandatory minimum sentencing leads to mass incarceration and has created a criminal justice system that is broken. If you or a loved one have been convicted of a crime that subjects you to a mandatory minimum sentence contact an experienced Virginia mandatory minimum sentencing attorney to fight for your rights.
Virginia’s Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws
A mandatory minimum sentence is for those who have been convicted of certain crimes that must be punished with at least a minimum number of years in prison. These crimes typically involve firearms, drug crimes, drinking and driving charges, sex crimes, and assault. Though most mandatory minimum sentencing consists of felonies, some misdemeanors can also subject you to mandatory minimum sentencing. According to Virginia Code 18.2-12.1 the court shall impose the entire term of confinement, the full amount of a fine, and community service and is not allowed to suspend in full or in part the punishment described as mandatory minimum punishment.
In Virginia, there are over 80 different crimes that can subject you to a mandatory minimum sentence, but most sentencing occur because of drug crimes that can result in one year to 20 years in prison. It is important to note that in Virginia statutes that carry mandatory minimums have increased in number and apply to the number of times you have committed the same crime and whether you committed that crime with a firearm. Lastly, the average drug related sentence is 91 months in Virginia whereas the national sentence rate for drug crimes is 72 months, which makes Virginia laws stricter. That is why it is beyond beneficial to contact an attorney if you have been subjected to a mandatory minimum sentence.
Need Legal Advice?
Facing a long-term incarceration sentence can be difficult to deal with especially if you have a job and a family. Though you are fighting for your freedom, you do not have to fight alone. Contact an experienced Virginia mandatory minimum sentencing attorney at Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall to consult about your case and be an advocate for your rights as well as your freedom. Contact our office today for an initial consultation.