2008 FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES MANUAL


CHAPTER 5 - PART C - IMPRISONMENT

§5C1.2. Limitation on Applicability of Statutory Minimum Sentences in Certain Cases

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), in the case of an offense under 21 U.S.C. § 841, § 844, § 846, § 960, or § 963, the court shall impose a sentence in accordance with the applicable guidelines without regard to any statutory minimum sentence, if the court finds that the defendant meets the criteria in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)(1)-(5) set forth below:

(1) the defendant does not have more than 1 criminal history point, as determined under the sentencing guidelines before application of subsection (b) of §4A1.3 (Departures Based on Inadequacy of Criminal History Category);

(2) the defendant did not use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon (or induce another participant to do so) in connection with the offense;

(3) the offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury to any person;

(4) the defendant was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines and was not engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise, as defined in 21 U.S.C. § 848; and

(5) not later than the time of the sentencing hearing, the defendant has truthfully provided to the Government all information and evidence the defendant has concerning the offense or offenses that were part of the same course of conduct or of a common scheme or plan, but the fact that the defendant has no relevant or useful other information to provide or that the Government is already aware of the information shall not preclude a determination by the court that the defendant has complied with this requirement.

(b) In the case of a defendant (1) who meets the criteria set forth in subsection (a); and (2) for whom the statutorily required minimum sentence is at least five years, the offense level applicable from Chapters Two (Offense Conduct) and Three (Adjustments) shall be not less than level 17.

Commentary

Application Notes:

1. "More than 1 criminal history point, as determined under the sentencing guidelines," as used in subsection (a)(1), means more than one criminal history point as determined under §4A1.1 (Criminal History Category) before application of subsection (b) of §4A1.3 (Departures Based on Inadequacy of Criminal History Category).

2. "Dangerous weapon" and "firearm," as used in subsection (a)(2), and "serious bodily injury," as used in subsection (a)(3), are defined in the Commentary to §1B1.1 (Application Instructions).

3. "Offense," as used in subsection (a)(2)-(4), and "offense or offenses that were part of the same course of conduct or of a common scheme or plan," as used in subsection (a)(5), mean the offense of conviction and all relevant conduct.

4. Consistent with §1B1.3 (Relevant Conduct), the term "defendant," as used in subsection (a)(2), limits the accountability of the defendant to his own conduct and conduct that he aided or abetted, counseled, commanded, induced, procured, or willfully caused.

5. "Organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines," as used in subsection (a)(4), means a defendant who receives an adjustment for an aggravating role under §3B1.1 (Aggravating Role).

6. "Engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise," as used in subsection (a)(4), is defined in 21 U.S.C. § 848(c). As a practical matter, it should not be necessary to apply this prong of subsection (a)(4) because (i) this section does not apply to a conviction under 21 U.S.C. § 848, and (ii) any defendant who "engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise" but is convicted of an offense to which this section applies will be an "organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense."

7. Information disclosed by the defendant with respect to subsection (a)(5) may be considered in determining the applicable guideline range, except where the use of such information is restricted under the provisions of §1B1.8 (Use of Certain Information). That is, subsection (a)(5) does not provide an independent basis for restricting the use of information disclosed by the defendant.

8. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f), prior to its determination, the court shall afford the government an opportunity to make a recommendation. See also Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(c)(1), (3).

9. A defendant who meets the criteria under this section is exempt from any otherwise applicable statutory minimum sentence of imprisonment and statutory minimum term of supervised release.

Background: This section sets forth the relevant provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f), as added by section 80001(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which limit the applicability of statutory minimum sentences in certain cases. Under the authority of section 80001(b) of that Act, the Commission has promulgated application notes to provide guidance in the application of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f). See also H. Rep. No. 460, 103d Cong., 2d Sess. 3 (1994) (expressing intent to foster greater coordination between mandatory minimum sentencing and the sentencing guideline system).

Historical Note: Effective September 23, 1994 (see Appendix C, amendment 509). Amended effective November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 515); November 1, 1996 (see Appendix C, amendment 540); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendment 570); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendment 624); October 27, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 651); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 674).