Federal criminal defense lawyers should be well aware of the so-called "Safety Valve" provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f) and United States Sentencing Guidelines § 5C1.2. The Safety Valve allows a defendant who qualifies to receive a sentence below a statutory minimum sentence. However, the Safety Valve only applies in limited situations.
To be eligible for Safety Valve, a defendant must:
1. be convicted of an offense under 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 844, 846, 960, or 963;
2. not have more than 1 criminal history point;
3. not have used violence or guns;
4. not have been involved in an offense that resulted in death or serious injury;
5. not have been an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others or have been involved in a "continuing criminal enterprise," as defined in 21 U.S.C. § 848; and
6. by sentencing have provided government with truthful information about offense and related conduct.
To find out if you qualify for a Safety Valve sentencing departure, contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney today. Call Norman D. McKellar at 865-566-0125 for a free consultation.