Can a person's sentence be 'enhanced' with a firearm if they did not charge them with it?

Asked over 1 year ago - Charleston, SC

My fiance told me the following: My circuit used that youthful offender act years and years ago to career me out. The prosecutor used my youthful offender to career me out. remember...... i was 17 when i did time back then..... i caught this time when i was 32 years old. also, they enhanced me for a firearm"but" didnt charge me with it!
Is this something he can do about this?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Tristan M Shaffer

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A yoa can be used as a prior for sentencing guideline purposes.

    Also the don't have to charge you with the firearm to use it to enhance your sentence.

  2. Dale Martin Savage

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm guessing you're in federal court, yes they can enhance your sentence w/o charging you with the firearm.

  3. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Unless sealed, juvenile adjudications can be used as a reason for more penalties in an adult case. Not sure what you mean by "career me out." The presence of a firearm almost always brings a stiffer sentence than in the same case without the firearm. Enhance means give a sentence greater than that allowed for the underlying crime. That can't be done unless it it charged.

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  4. Joshua Sabert Lowther


    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . If this is a federal case, yes, if the facts of the case and the prior conviction support the enhancement. However, there are many ways in which prior convictions for firearms offense may enhance sentences (increased US Sentencing Guidelines ranges; Armed Career Criminal status; Career Offender status; increased mandatory minimum penalties for statutory offenses, just to name a few); therefore, more information is needed.

    Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.

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