Mandatory minimum sentencing is exactly what it sounds like. People who are convicted of certain crimes must be punished with a minimum number of years in prison.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of gray area when it comes to mandatory minimum sentences. Most importantly, the minimum varies based on the crime of the convicted.
Here is one of the most common questions we received from clients:
Is a mandatory minimum sentence applicable to my case?
While it would be nice to give a “yes” or “no” answer to everybody who asks this question, it takes some time to gather the necessary information.
Generally speaking, mandatory minimum sentences are applicable to cases that involve firearms, sexual offenses against children, and crimes involving a substantial quantity of narcotics.
Can the Minimum Sentence be Waived?
Once a client finds out that their crime does have a mandatory minimum sentence attached to it, the next question is typically the same: can it be waived for any reason?
A mandatory minimum sentence can only be waived by the prosecution in the case. What this means is simple: a judge has absolutely not authority under the law to sentence you to less than the mandatory minimum without the consent of the prosecution.
Pennsylvania Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines
Since laws vary from one state to the next, it is important to focus on mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines as set forth by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
You can find more information, including minimum sentences for all crimes, by visiting the following websites:
Don’t Read Too Much
Although there is a lot of information available on mandatory minimum sentencing in the state of Pennsylvania, as somebody with no experience you will have a difficult time interpreting the information. Subsequently, you may end up scaring yourself for no good reason.
In addition to the basic research that you can complete on your own, it is a must to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can review your case, explain if a mandatory minimum sentence applies, and offer advice on what to do next.
Do you want to learn more about mandatory minimum sentences? If so, the following resources may be able to provide you with more detailed information.
- Mandatory Sentencing Definition
- The Problem With Mandatory Minimums
- How Mandatory Minimums Forced Me to Send More Than 1,000 Nonviolent Drug Offenders to Federal Prison
Of course, the best way to learn more is to contact our office today. We are more than happy to discuss your case in great detail.