Federal laws regarding drug crimes are quite strict. Those convicted of drug crimes at this level stand to face significant fines and lengthy prison terms. If a group of senators get their way, though, changes may be coming to federal law in regard to nonviolent drug offenders. This can be good news for those accused of such crimes in South Carolina and elsewhere.
So, what changes would be made if this proposed legislation is passed? As it currently stands, those who have been convicted three times as nonviolent drug offenders are given mandatory life sentences. If this bill passes, this will no longer be the case. Judges would be granted greater control in determining appropriate sentences.
Along with eliminating mandatory life sentences for repeat offenders, reduced sentences may be given. Those who are currently in prison for nonviolent drug crimes will also be able to seek to have their sentences reduced up to 25 percent. This may be accomplished if they qualify to enter rehabilitation programs.
Apparently, this bill has been in the works for several years. The White House has yet to comment on this legislation, however. If this bill is signed into federal law the benefits for nonviolent offenders can be significant. Until this happens, those in South Carolina who have been charged or convicted of nonviolent drug crimes can work with legal counsel in order to fight charges, achieve alternative sentencing or appeal court decisions regarding their cases. While tackling federal level drug charges is certainly not an easy task, with assistance, it is possible to achieve an outcome that will be of best benefit to the accused.
Source: CBS News, "Criminal justice overhaul unveiled by bipartisan Senators", Oct. 1, 2015