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Has the feds guide line of 85% drop to 65%

Saint Louis, MO |

my husband was offerd 6 year in fed jail and it said with good time he could walk out of fed jail in 3 year how is that

Attorney Answers 5


The federal crime is governed by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. There is no parole board in the federal jurisdiction. Any sentence that a defendant receives at sentencing by a federal judge is time to serve at 85%. If the offer is 6 years (72 months) the defendant will serve 72 x .85 = 61.2 months in a federal institution. He will be eligible for a half way house at the last 6 months of his sentence. If it is a drug offense, he may be eligible for a 12 month reduction, if he qualifies for the ADRP (drug program while serving his sentence). He needs to consult with his attorney and get answers to these types of questions PRIOR TO the change of plea.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

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18 USC Section 3624(b) allows "good conduct time" to be earned at a maximum rate of 54 days per year for any term or imprisonment that exceeds 12 months, but is less than life. That rate, which appears to require 85% of the sentence to be served (but is actually 87% according to BOP's formula based on actual time served versus the length of the sentence), has not been amended to require only 65% of the sentence to be served. Nonetheless, service of 3 years on a 6 year sentence is not possible with good conduct time credits alone. If your husband earns the full good conduct time reduction, qualifies for RDAP *and* the 12 month possible reduction for its successful completion, and receives the much-coveted but rarely given 12 month community confinement placement, then he will have served just over 3 years of that sentence. (This answer does not contemplate pre-trial detention.)

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.

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Just curious about the so called (65 % amendment). Is this something that is out there as a proposal for legislation and the reason that it is not being utilized at the moment is because of the timely legislative process? Please let me know since I would like to educate myself about this a little more (also: please if possible send me some type of a point of reference whether it be a link of some type so that I may read it myself). Thank you.


Federal detainees are constantly spreading the rumor that the feds intend to increase good time. That has not happened. A defendant is entitled to 54 days a year of good time. On a 6 year sentence, that amounts to approximately 10.5 months. If your husband were to get into and complete the 9 month drug treatment program, he could get another year taken off his sentence. He may be allowed to complete the last 3-6 months of his sentence in a half-way house. All in all, he could end up doing 3.5 to 5 years on a 6 year sentence.

This answer is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as the practice of law in any jurisdiction in which I am not licensed. The answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the information provided, and may be inaccurate in the context of additional facts that have not been provided. The questioner should be aware that I am only licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Minnesota. Accordingly, before taking any action or refraining from taking any action, the questioner should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in his or her jurisdiction.

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This is a persistent rumor that I've been hearing for years now. Somehow, folks are convinced that there a law that was just passed that changes fed good time to allow release after serving 65% of a sentence.

It is not true.

I wish it were.

My answer to your question is based on the facts that you provide in your question. Additional factual details about your situation could change my answer completely. The law in inherently uncertain and always subject to change.

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No. If your husband is sentenced to federal prison, he will serve 85% of the time sentenced. He will receive 48 days credit for every day sentenced.

Who told you that he would walk out of jail in 3 years? Is it possible that the offer is a guideline range up up to 6 years, e.g. 57-71 months? Even then, assuming he received a sentence of 57 months, he would only receive approximately 240 days credit.

You and your husband should sit down with his attorney and be certain you both (especially him) understand what the offer is, and what time your husband can expect to spend in custody. It is part of your husbnd's attorney's job to be sure he understands the details before he accepts or rejects any plea offer.

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