Thursday, November 1, 2018

These things are going to be happening to our clients now. (The new phone book is finally here! update).

A few months ago we informed you that the Sentencing Commission had adopted some changes to the 2018 guidelines. We were (of course) ahead of the game. Although the Commission had agreed on the amendments, they were not to go into effect until (checks watch) TODAY!

That is right, today the 2018 Sentencing Guidelines are now in effect. And since they are likely to impact some of your clients, lets discuss some of the key changes:

1) There are a number of fentanyl related changes, including a four level enhancement for misrepresenting another drug or mixture that contains fentanyl. See § 2D1.1(b)(13).

2) A number of grounds for departure in synthetic  cases have been added, with an acknowledgment of the potential differences in potency among different synthetic drugs.

3) "Marijuana equivalency" is gone. Now called Drug Conversation Table.§ 2D1.1(c)(1).

4) Acceptance of responsibility commentary attempts to clarify that an objection, even if a losing one is not necessarily frivolous in order to lose acceptance of responsibility.  § 3E1.1.

5) Judges should consider a sentence other than imprisonment for offenders in Zone A and B with certain characteristics.  § 5C1.1

There are other things in there including some changes to 2L and some tribal court conviction related stuff. The linked publication from the sentencing commission summarizing the changes is only 39 pages.

This is worth getting excited about!

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