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Bronx Drug Possession Attorney

Drug possession is both a state crime (NY PEN §220) and a federal crime (21 U.S.C. 13), but federal penalties tend to be more severe than state penalties for an equivalent offense. In fact, federal laws dictating mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes have been widely criticized for keeping thousands of non-violent drug offenders in prison for excessive periods of time and for having a disproportionate effect on African-Americans. The First Step Act of 2018 has been hailed as a major breakthrough in correcting these issues.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences Biased Against Crack Cocaine

The mandatory sentences for crack cocaine offenses provide a good example of how harsh and racially-biased federal drug sentencing laws can be. Prior to the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, a seller caught with just 50 grams of crack cocaine faced a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Even after the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, a seller caught with as little as 280 grams of crack cocaine was subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years for a first-time offender or 20 years to life for a repeat offender. In contrast, a seller would have to be caught with 5,000 grams of powder cocaine to qualify for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.

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101 Avenue of the Americas, 9th Floor
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