Earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called for a substantial overhaul to the federal criminal justice system. In particular, he stated his case for promoting major changes to drug-sentencing policies throughout the nation. Under Holder’s proposed policy changes, harsh sentences for certain drug-related crimes and for certain drug offenders would be significantly scaled back.
The federal call for change comes after a long, arguably inefficient, run of America’s War on Drugs. When the effort to crack down on drugs began in the 1980s, harsh policies and sentencing guidelines were adopted, particularly severe mandatory minimum sentences. These harsh policies existed for even minor crimes and for non-violent drug offenders. As a result, America has seen a dramatic, alarming, and debilitating rise in jail and prison populations. These policies, Holder said in his speech on Monday, are at the root of a vicious cycle of recidivism – the term used to describe a convicted offender’s return to a life of crime and incarceration.
Due to such an overcrowding prison system and overburdened law enforcement, many states and jurisdictions throughout the country have already voiced their opposition to current policies. Some states, such as Texas, have already adopted a more lenient drug crime policy. Still, a push for federal change can mean big things to the nation’s criminal justice system. As a policy overhaul has earned strong bipartisan support, change may very well remain ahead.
DRUG CRIME CHARGES IN OKLAHOMA
Although change may be in the future, the fact remains that drug crimes are still serious charges, especially for residents in Oklahoma City and throughout the state of Oklahoma – which is why anyone charged with a drug offense should work with an experienced Oklahoma drug crime attorney. While drug crime allegations can vary drastically from case to case, courts will focus on a few important circumstances when determining drug offense charges and sentences. These factors include:
The type of drug involved
The amount of a controlled substance involved
A defendant’s prior criminal history
Again, charges will vary depending on the nature of the charge. Possession and under the influence charges, for instance, do pose serious penalties, especially when prior convictions exist. More serious allegations such as sales, distribution, or cultivation, however, can pose the most devastating consequences. No matter how serious a charge you or your loved one may be facing, you can trust in the personal attention, experienced problem solving, and aggressive representation our Oklahoma criminal defense attorneys provide. From the moment you reach out to our firm for help throughout each stage of your legal journey, you can depend on our legal team to fight relentlessly on your behalf. If you or someone you know is facing a drug crime charge anywhere in Oklahoma, contact an Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer from Atkins & Markoff today.