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Federal drug law overhaul could mean lesser sentences for some

Just because a person uses drugs doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person. Citizens of New Jersey who are otherwise law abiding often commit crimes to fuel their own addiction rather than to cause harm to society. After decades of enforcing harsh anti-drug laws, the federal government is starting to realize this. It seems that they are also realizing that both the social and monetary cost of incarceration for low-level drug charges may be too high.

The Attorney General recently announced that the Justice Department has been reviewing federal drug laws and mandatory sentences since the beginning of the year. He believes that many Americans are being punished too severely for non-violent, drug related crimes. Assuming that those people do not associate with gangs, cartels or other large drug organizations they will not be charged with federal offences that carry lengthy minimum sentences. Instead, it is expected more Americans will be prosecuted according to new local guidelines included in the overhaul. This could not only mean lesser sentences for those who are charged with drug crimes in the future, but it may also mean that those currently incarcerated could be eligible for early release. More information on the overhaul will soon be forthcoming.

If you or a close friend or family member is facing drug charges of any kind, you may want to consult with a criminal defense attorney to see how the new federal drug laws will affect your case. There may be options to get the charges reduced and minimize the long-term consequences.

Source: Reuters.com, Justice Dept to drop some mandatory drug sentences,” David Ingram, August 12, 2013

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