Children do not die simply by going without their mother. A tragic situation you put your child in. In our county, the Judge will do anything he can to lock up a Meth Cook. Your attorney should be going over your guidelines with you. Maybe you can continue in rehab inside, attend AA/NA so you can stay clean. It is not easy, but you have everything to motivate you.
We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.
It sounds like you already know the parameters of this. Your guidelines are 37-46 months. That will be the starting point for the judge. He is required to consider the guidelines, but they are only advisory. Under 18 U.S.C. 3553(a), the judge is also required to consider the nature of the crime, the history and characteristics of the defendant, need for treatment, adequate deterrence, and other sentencing factors to impose a sentence that is no longer than necessary to achieve the purposes of sentencing. The facts that you are a first offender, are the primary caretaker for your kids, have a newborn are all factors the judge can consider to impose a sentence less than the guideline range. Your attorney should be crafting a compelling and sympathetic story about how you got yourself into this situation, how contrary to your character it was, and how you learned your lesson. The judge could sentence you to house arrest so that you could continue to care for your kids or any sentence up to the maximum. But you and your attorney will want to present your life and background in the most sympathetic way possible to show that this was an isolated mistake in an otherwise blameless life and you are remorseful and have learned your lesson and will never be in a criminal court again.
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.
The Safety Valve has already defeated the mandatory 10 year minimum sentence pursuant to 21 USC 841(b); therefore, the focus now should be convincing the district judge that a downward departure pursuant to Chapter 5 of the Sentencing Guidelines or a variance pursuant to 18 USC 3553(a) is warranted. You should review 3553(a) with your attorney and discuss with him or her all aspects of your life that may warrant a variance (which seems to be more likely than a departure in almost every case with the exception of substantial cooperation).
Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.
NATIONAL FEDERAL DEFENSE GROUP