In 2014, the United States Sentencing Commission approved an Amendment to the United States Sentencing Guidelines (The Guidelines). The Guidelines are the mechanism by which people are ordinarily sentenced in Federal criminal cases. The Amendment lowered the so called Base Offense Level for many types of drugs by two points and it became effective on November 1, 2014. The United States Sentencing Commission promulgated a policy statement making the reduction retroactive. The fact that the amendment is retroactive allows for those already sentenced to in a federal drug case come back to the Court and request a sentence reduction.
What does this mean? It means that many individuals sentenced in federal drug conspiracy cases prior to November 2014 received a lengthier Guidelines sentence than they would receive now. This is due to the two point base offense level reduction authorized by the Sentencing Commission and approved by Congress. The law allows for people sentenced prior to the November 2014 amendments to petition the U.S. District Court to reduce their existing sentence based on the changed base offense level. The two point reduction may sound almost insignificant, but a two point reduction can results in a sentence lowered by many months or even years.
Do I qualify? Does a family member qualify?