The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted this afternoon to make the “Drug Minus Two” amendment (also called “All Drug Minus Two” or Amendment 782) to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines retroactive. It has been made retroactive without restriction, meaning that they did not restrict retroactivity to a narrower group than the language of the amendment itself.

What this means now is, assuming Congress does not vote to strike it down in its entirety, the amendment will become law and take effect on November 1, 2014, for those who have not been sentenced yet.

Additionally, inmates may begin filing motions on November 1, 2014, but any sentence reduction granted will not be effective earlier than November 1, 2015.

Our firm will be handling these motions. It is important to note that, historically, motions filed by attorneys are granted more often than motions filed without an attorney. We are not sure of all the reasons for this, but it does appear to be the case. What we will be doing first is reviewing cases to determine eligibility. In order to do this review, we will need a COPY of the Presentence Investigation Report (sometimes referred to as the PSI or PSR). We will charge $500.00 to do the review, after which we can determine whether the inmate is eligible, for how much of a reduction he or she may be eligible, and what the likelihood of success may be. We will then quote a fee reflecting the complexity of the issues identified in the review to represent the inmate and prepare and file the motion. Cases will be handled in the order in which they were retained.

For now, what inmates need to do is to have someone on the outside secure a copy of the PSI and have it ready to fax or email to us to review for eligibility.

If you have any questions, you can call me at (512) 693-9LAW or email me. Just click on the “Contact Us” link here or at the top of the page, and I would be glad to talk to you about your matter.

By the way, the Sentencing Commission estimates that the number of inmates who may be eligible for a sentence reduction (after the 1-year delay in release is taken into consideration) is 46,290.


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