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My significant other is awaiting sentencing. What can be done to help get his time in jail reduced?

El Paso, TX |

Charged for possession of controlled substance, conspiracy and failure to comply. No previous criminal history. Non-violent offense. Has U.S. residency but is not a citizen. Has no family from native country of Mexico. Willingly surrendered himself to authorities upon failure to comply with set regulations.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. This is a question that should be discussed with his attorney since it depends on the facts of the case, the amount of drugs involved, the plea agreement, whether there are mandatory minimums that apply, and other factors. It is also not clear from your question whether this is in state or federal court and what regulations he failed to comply with. If he failed to comply with probation or pretrial release it will add to his time. In addition, as an alien this conviction will almost certainly subject him to deportation back to Mexico.

    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.

  2. I do not know the specific rules of sentencing in Texas. However, generally, once somone has been convicted of a crime, the law provides both the defense and the prosecution an opportunity to be heard with respect to sentencing. This is known as a sentencing hearing. The defense can present mitigating circumstances as to why the punishment and penalties should be minimize, and not as severe as the prosecution is requesting. The prosecution presents aggravating circumstances to demonstrate why the sentence should be severe. This is not something that your friend should attempt without a lawyer. There may be character witnesses who can testify on his behalf (including you) and there may be other reasons that he is entitled to leniency. This is too important of a stage of the proceedings to go it alone....get legal counsel to assist!

  3. The answer depends upon the manner in which he arrived before the court for sentencing: plea (with or without an agreement) or conviction after trial. While certain plea agreements severely limit a defendant's ability to argue for a reduced sentence, others do not. Regarding the latter, there is no limit on the information that a defendant can introduce to the court in mitigation. A thorough discussion of these issues with his attorney is critical; his family may need to assist the attorney with identifying and gathering important information.

    Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.

  4. Who is your significant other's attorney? This is an answer left best to him/her.

    Should you need further assistance, call my office at 915-543-9800.


  5. Your "other" needs to be very careful and make sure his lawyer discusses all of the collateral or other consequences of this case. No matter if this is a non-violent offense and he has no prior criminal history, if he is convicted of a drug offense he could be exposing himself to revocation of his residence and removal from the US. Your lawyer must understand the immigration consequences as well as the usual consequences of a criminal case as they move ahead. I am certainly willing to consult on the case if you need.

    Call (915) 546-2696 to schedule a consultation.

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