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Thousands of Defendants Could See a Reduction in Their Federal Sentences as United States Sentencing Commission Votes to Approve

Thousands of Defendants Could See a Reduction in Their Federal Sentences as United States Sentencing Commission Votes to Approve Retroactive Application of Proposed Amendments
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As discussed in our blog post How the Proposed Amendments to Federal Sentencing Guidelines Could Impact Your Case, the United States Sentencing Commission has promulgated proposed amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Two (2) of the most significant amendments pertain to the defendant’s criminal history calculation. The first proposed amendment would establish an additional two (2) level reduction for offenders who did not receive any criminal history points under Chapter Four and whose instant offense did not involve certain proscribed criteria. The second amendment limits the overall criminal history impact of “status points” (i.e., additional points assigned to defendants who committed the instant offense while under a criminal justice sentence, including probation, parole, supervised release, etc.). Absent Congressional intervention, these amendments are scheduled to go into effect on November 1, 2023. The only remaining question was whether the amendments would be retroactive to allow individuals who were previously sentenced – but would otherwise qualify for the reductions – to apply for relief.

On August 24, 2023, the Commission voted 4-3 to make the amendments retroactive. Thus, unless Congress intervenes in the coming weeks, eligible defendants will be permitted to apply for a limited resentencing hearing to determine whether the previously imposed sentence should be reduced in light of the recent Guideline amendments. Importantly, inmates cannot submit such requests until February 1, 2024.

At Friedman Nemecek & Long, L.L.C., our team of experienced attorneys routinely represent individuals in federal sentencing matters at both the trial court level and on appeal. Our lawyers stay abreast of the constant changes in legislation and court cases to ensure that our clients receive the most comprehensive and effective representation available. If you or a loved one have questions regarding the proposed amendments or are interested in applying for relief, please call the law firm of Friedman Nemecek & Long, L.L.C., at 888-694-4645 for a free initial consultation.