USSC Amendment 821 Part A & B

USSC Amendment 821 Part A & B

See If Post-Conviction Relief Is Available to You

The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) recently voted to make Amendment 821 Part A and Part B retroactive, which could allow about 20,000 federal inmates a chance to reduce their sentencing, as well as potentially provide reduced sentencing to future defendants. If you are a federal inmate or a “zero point offender” (first-time offender) who has been charged with federal crimes, it will be worth your time to see if Amendment 821 could help you reduce your sentencing. Rather than getting lost in the many legal details of federal law and Amendment 821 on your own, though, team up with the attorneys of Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. We can be your guides and representatives during all steps of this important process, so you can explore your options under Amendment 821 with confidence.

Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help with USSC Amendment 821 Part A/B cases nationwide. Call (800) 462-7160 to request an initial case consultation.

What is Amendment 821?

USSC Amendment 821 Parts A and B consider a defendant’s “status points” to determine if they are eligible for sentencing reduction, including post-conviction relief in the form of sentencing reduction. Status points are assigned to a defendant who commits an “instant offense” while under a criminal justice sentence.

Criminal justice sentences in this context include:

  • Imprisonment
  • Parole
  • Probation
  • Supervised release
  • Work release
  • Escape

Defendants who meet status point criteria and other requirements may be able to file certain motions to have their sentences reevaluated and possibly reduced. Our attorneys from Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you understand your eligibility based on the requirements set by both Amendment 821 Part A and Part B, which are noticeably different.

USSC Amendment 821 Part A

To qualify for sentencing reduction/post-conviction relief under Amendment 821 Part A, you must meet these requirements:

  • The offense in question was committed under parole, probation, in prison, or on supervised relief, resulting in the use of “status points.”
  • Your total criminal history of status points are 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, or 8, which might make you eligible for a 2-point reduction.
    • Or your total criminal history points are 10 or 13, which might make you eligible for a 1-point reduction.
    • If your total criminal history points are 0, 6, 9, 11, 12, or 13 or more, you will likely be ineligible.
  • You received a downward departure or variance at the time of your sentencing.
    • If the original sentence imposed is lower than what would be possible through Amendment 821 Part A, you might be ineligible.

Through the proper use of the considerations put in place by Amendment 821 Part A, our legal team may be able to help you secure a sentencing reduction. The USSC expects that there will be thousands of eligible defendants and that the use of Part A will create an average sentence reduction of 113 months. With such a significant reduction expected, we encourage you to see if you are eligible today.

USSC Amendment 821 Part B

Do you have 0 criminal history points because you have no prior convictions, have convictions that fall outside the time limits within sections 4A1.2(d) and 4A1.2(e), or have prior convictions that were excluded from criminal history calculations under unique circumstances? If so, you may be eligible to use USSC Amendment 821 Part B to attain a sentencing reduction.

If you are eligible because you have 0 criminal history points, you must then meet these additional requirements:

  1. No terrorism adjustment.
  2. No use of violence or violent threats.
  3. No death or serious injury was caused by the offense.
  4. No sex offenses.
  5. No substantial financial hardship was caused by the offense.
  6. No use of dangerous weapons or firearms.
  7. No civil rights offenses.
  8. No adjustments for hate crimes, vulnerable victims, or serious human rights offenses.
  9. No aggravating role while engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise.

If you meet all 9 criteria listed above and have not been sentenced yet, you could qualify for a 2-level reduction. If the current imposed sentence is lower than what Amendment 821 Part B would allow, you would likely not qualify.

Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you see if you are eligible to use Part B and file a motion for resentencing under 18 USC Section 3582(c). When a judge rules on a motion for resentencing, it’s likely that there will be no hearing and the decision will be made at the judge's discretion. Still, the judge must consider sentencing factors under 18 USC Section 3553(a). Using our attorneys’ help, you can create and file a motion that knows what the judge will consider when reaching a decision. The USSC has estimated that the average sentencing for people who qualify for Part B will drop from 85 months to 70 months, so you will want to see if you can use such a significant sentencing reduction, too.

Let Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP Help

Federal sentencing is complicated. Fighting to have your sentencing reduced on federal charges is even more complex. To avoid making mistakes that could delay or damage your motion for resentencing, start by working with the highly experienced criminal defense attorneys of Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP. We are here to help with every step, such as analyzing your case, calculating the sentencing reduction that might be possible, and helping file your motion to the right court. Gain confidence in your future again by letting our legal team lead the way.

For more information about Amendment 821 Part A and B, call (800) 462-7160 or contact our firm online.

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