Federal Safety Valve in Drug Cases
Have you or someone you know been charged with a federal offense with little or no criminal history that commit non-violent or non-managerial drug crimes?
The Safety Valve Provision of the United States Sentencing Commission (“USSC”) allows for certain cases to not require the statutory minimum required by the USSC.
These cases include:
- The defendant who does not have more than one (1) criminal history point;
- The defendant did not use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon in connection with the offense;
- The offense did not result in death of serious bodily injury to any person;
- The defendant was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense, and not later than the time of the sentencing hearing; and
- The defendant has truthfully provided to the Government all information and evidence the defendant has concerning the offense that were part of the same course of conduct or of a common scheme or plan, but the fact that the defendant has no relevant or useful other information to provide or that the Government is already aware of the information shall not preclude a determination by the court that the defendant has complied with this requirement.
18 USC § 3553
Of the safety valve cases that are brought, the difference between being eligible for the safety valve provision and not being eligible is whether the defendant was truthful and gave the courts all the information necessary.
In January of 2014, the 7th Circuit determined that although a defendant had been honest prior to his sentencing, he was still ineligible for the safety valve provision. The defendant had lied to the government during his safety valve debriefings. Although the defendant had been truthful before his sentencing, he had lied during his debriefing determining him unable to benefit from the safety valve provision. United States v. Acevedo-Fitz, 739 F.3d 967 (7th Cir. 2014). Very important that you cooperate fully and honestly or not cooperate at all. Half hazard cooperation without full truths will result in the potential for losing this relief.
This provision allows for the opportunity to be considered for a lesser sentence in the eyes of the Government, but is determinative on the honestly of the defendant.
Therefore, if you or someone you know might be eligible for the Safety Valve Provision in a federal case, contact the experienced federal attorneys at Banks & Brower, LLC. We are available to help you 24 hours a day, every day at (317) 870-0019 or firstname.lastname@example.org.