Crack Cocaine Laws
Federal drug crimes are the most common federal convictions in America. Often, the drug involved is cocain base, also known as “crack” cocaine, because crack cocaine is relatively inexpensive compared to its purer counterpart – cocaine.
Beginning with the 1986 death of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias due to a crack cocaine overdose, Congress took decisive steps to further criminalize involvement with crack cocaine than had previously existed. As a result of Congress’ actions, statutory penalties for involvement with crack cocaine were increased, with 1 gram of crack cocaine being made equivalent to 100 grams of powder cocaine. The sentencing Guidelines also issued grossly disproportionate sentences to crack cocaine offenders as opposed to those involved with powder cocaine – even though crack cocaine actually contains less cocaine.
This has spiked much controversy over the years largely in part because the government viewed crack cocaine as much more predatory and addictive drug than pure cocaine. However, much scrutiny has developed in this regard also because crack crimes generally exist in poorer communities and by African Americans.
Eventually realizing that crack and powder cocaine do not differ greatly physiologically, and that unduly harsh crack cocaine sentences disproportionately affected African-Americans, Congress has recently reduced the statutory sentences for involvement with crack cocaine via the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. The Guidelines followed suit, with crack cocaine penalties being reduced. The United States Sentencing Commission releases the new guidelines each year on November 1st. View the latest guideline manual.
Despite the reduction in crack cocaine laws, such penalties are still not as low as those issued to offenses involving powder cocaine. However, recent Supreme Court decisions have stated that district courts have the ability to issue sentences outside and below the Guidelines in crack cocaine cases.
If you have a federal crack cocaine case and are not sure of the defenses that can be raised, NLPA can help. Our research staff has almost 100 years of combined experience in these types of cases. We have what we believe to be one of the best track records in the country assisting counsel in defending cases such as this. For more information about the cases NLPA has helped counsel with click here.
NLPA offers assistance at virtually any stage of your federal crack cocaine case including pretrial, plea negotiations, sentencing, appeal, post conviction relief.
If you are interested in learning how NLPA can assist with your case, contact National Legal Professional Associates today!