The good news is that there is undeniable momentum among Democrats and Republicans alike for sentencing reform. The bad news regarding the federal sentencing reform being discussed in the U.S. House and Senate is twofold: 1. the legislation hasn’t been passed yet, and 2. even if it is passed and signed, it only addresses federal sentencing; it won’t change guidelines in West Virginia, Pennsylvania or any other state.
While it is noteworthy that legislators are finally recognizing the harm done to society by over-incarceration, the reality is that if you are arrested in Weirton for possession, trafficking or manufacturing of drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin, you face the possibility of harsh sentencing upon conviction.
The “war on drugs” has been raging across the nation for decades with limited success. Many critics say the effort has resulted in draconian sentencing that can leave non-violent offenders spending much of their lives behind bars. In turn, the number of inmates in state and federal prisons has risen to more than 2.2 million today and taxpayer costs have spiraled out of control.
In West Virginia, we have “three strikes” sentencing which can result in a life sentence for a third felony conviction.
For those who have been arrested on drug charges in the Ohio Valley, the possibility of sentencing reform is an abstract concept. What matters now: your criminal defense attorney and the protection of your rights and freedom. At the Law Office of P. Zachary Stewart, we know that your case is one of the biggest moments of your life. We want to be there for you, fighting for you in negotiations and at trial.