Under federal law, people with an extensive criminal history can be deemed career offenders, which means, in part, that they may face greater penalties for subsequent crimes. Only convictions for certain crimes will qualify a person for career offender status, however. If a defendant does not object to the sufficiency of the evidence demonstrating that they are a career offender at the sentencing level, however, they may waive their right to do so, as illustrated in a recent ruling issued in a Florida drug crime case. If you are accused of a drug-related offense, it is wise to confer with a Sarasota drug crime defense attorney promptly.
It is alleged that the defendant was charged with conspiring to distribute and distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. During the trial, the government presented evidence of the defendant’s involvement in controlled methamphetamine purchases, and the jury found him guilty on both counts. The government sought a mandatory minimum sentence based on the defendant’s prior drug-related convictions.
Reportedly, the defendant’s presentence investigation report applied a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence and classified him as a career offender based on his prior convictions. The report listed three qualifying prior offenses, and the defendant did not object to the report. At the sentencing hearing, he admitted to the convictions listed in the government’s notice of intent, and his trial counsel raised no legal objections. The court sentenced the defendant to 360 months imprisonment, stating it would have imposed the same sentence even without the mandatory minimum due to the substantial amount of methamphetamine involved. The defendant appealed.