Why it's Important to Understand Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
The term "mandatory minimum" refers to the minimum sentence a person convicted of a crime must receive under Pennsylvania state or federal sentencing guidelines.
By setting mandatory minimum sentences, the Pennsylvania legislature and Congress wanted to ensure that similar crimes were treated similarly by all judges and that a judge could not be too lenient in sentencing, particularly in drug charges, sex crimes, and violent crime cases.
Mandatory minimum sentences take away the ability of judges to consider individual and unique circumstances of a case. This can lead to terrible injustice in the search for justice.
- No prior offenses?
- Financial responsibility for a family?
- Extenuating circumstances?
- Mitigating factors?
It doesn't matter. With mandatory minimum sentencing, the judge has no alternative. If you're found guilty, the judge must impose a harsh sentence.
When the state or federal prosecutor is charging you with an offense that carries a mandatory minimum sentence, it's important to immediately contact an experienced Pennsylvania criminal law lawyer.
We have developed strategies and tactics over the years in which we have been successful in de-mandatorizing certain mandatory minimum cases. We have convinced both federal and state prosecutors to de-mandatorize. And we have also convinced both federal and state judges not to impose the mandatory minimum because of a variety of reasons:
- Constitutionality of statute.
- Lack of Legislative intent
- Failure to provide timely notice of mandatory minimum
At the law office of Patrick Artur & Associates, we have 30 years of state and federal criminal defense experience and an in-depth knowledge of federal and state sentencing guidelines, penalties, and punishments, particularly federal drug sentencing guidelines for felony charges.
With immediate, aggressive action by a knowledgeable Patrick Artur & Associates Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, we may be able to negotiate a different charge, avoiding the risk of a mandatory minimum sentence as we work toward a verdict of " not guilty."