Yesterday, a federal district court judge in Gainesville, Georgia sentenced our client to three years of probation. Our client was accused of being involved in a large marijuana grow house conspiracy and was originally facing a five-year mandatory minimum sentence in prison.
Our firm was able to convince federal prosecutors to remove the stiff mandatory minimum sentence and allow our client to enter a plea to a charge that carried no mandatory minimum. We were then able to effectively argue at sentencing that probation was an appropriate sentence.
The case involved an expansive marijuana grow house operation across north Georgia and involved numerous co-defendants. Based on all of the marijuana found by law enforcement, the Government charged our client with possessing over 100 kilograms of marijuana, which carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence under 21 U.S.C. § 841. Our firm fought the allegations by filing a series of motions to suppress evidence and arguing that our client should be held accountable for far less. After two years of litigating the case in court, the Government agreed to allow our client to enter a plea to a charge that carried no mandatory minimum sentence.
We were then able to show the judge at sentencing that our client posed no threat to anyone and that he was unlikely reoffend in the future. The judge agreed with us and allowed our client to return home to his family. While a probation sentence in a large federal drug conspiracy case is rare, it can happen if a judge is convinced that the individual has been punished enough and is not going to commit any future crimes.
This case is a great example of how fighting the Government’s allegations can ultimately lead to a reduction in charges. It is also a good example of how effective advocacy at sentencing can mean the difference between prison and probation. Too often, we see lawyers who pressure their clients into entering guilty pleas early in a case. Our client knew that we would fight for him and that we would do everything in our power to keep him out of prison. We are very happy that we could do just that.
Our firm is dedicated to aggressively defending clients accused of federal drug conspiracy charges. If you have been charged in a federal drug conspiracy case, call our firm to speak with one of our experienced federal criminal defense attorneys.
Page Pate is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, civil litigation, and whistleblower representation. Page is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and named to the list of Super Lawyers for the past 15 consecutive years. Page is a frequent expert legal analyst for local and national media and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School. Read Page’s reviews on AVVO. Follow Page on Twitter @pagepate and on Linkedin.