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If charged with 21 USC 841 (a)(1) and 846, but currently a fugitive with no previous criminal record, what is there to expect?

El Paso, TX |

the person in reference has excellent references and college educated, could this prevent jail time, or what are the options?

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Attorney answers 3


There is no way to guess because there could be extraneous offenses the government wants considered, etc. And, being a fugitive will NOT bode well in getting you what you want. You should hire a lawyer immediately and work on taking care of the case.

Cynthia Henley


The penalty for conspiracy to commit a federal drug offense (846) is the same as the underlying actual drug offense (841) and is based on the quantity of drugs. The statutory penalties range from a term of imprisonament of 0-20 years, 5-40 years, 10-life, 20-life or life, depending on the quantity of drugs alleged and the defendant's criminal history. If there is a small quantity if drugs alleged (and more importantly, proven), there is a much more likely chance of little to no imprisonment, although such sentences are rare in federal courts, even with cooperation against others. Regardless, the sentence will be determined by the judge's calculating the appropriate advisory US Sentencing Guidelines range (which accounts for quantity, criminal history or lack therof, etc.), and then his or her consideration of the factors in 18 USC 3553(a) as they relate to the defendant and his or her case. The judge will then determine whether a sentence within, above or below the advisory Guideline range is sufficient, but not greater than necessary to comply with the purposes of 3553(a) and is otherwise "reasonable."

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.


The sentencing guidelines will be based on the quantity of drugs. This could also result in mandatory minimum penalties. Assuming no mandatories, the fact of his excellent references and college education will help him at sentencing. The guidelines are only a starting point. They are one factor the judge considers, together with traditional sentencing factors. That being said, the longer he is a fugitive, the less likely any judge is going to be interested in cutting him a break. He needs to get a lawyer immediately and turn himself in. Eventually he will get caught. Then, because he will have proven himself to be a flight risk, he will not get pretrial release while his case goes on.

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.