State of Alabama has enacted new sentencing guidelines that apply to nonviolent offenses such as drug and property crimes.
The new guidelines are meant to accomplish several goals. One is to provide greater uniformity in sentencing among judges and to eliminate the degree of disparity that has occurred in the past. Simply put it was not uncommon in the past for individuals with the exact same offense to face very different sentences depending on the disposition of the sentencing judge.
The other goal of Alabama's new sentencing guidelines is to help eliminate the states problem with prison overcrowding. While a persons past criminal history and the seriousness of their offense (or offenses) are taken into account, many cases that used to fall within the parameters of Alabama's Habitual Offender Act will no longer fall under those provisions. This means that, under the new guidelines, many individuals will face far less severe penalties than they would have previously.
As always, if you or someone near to you is charged with a criminal offense you should consult with an attorney as to your options. If you're considering hiring an attorney, please feel free to call either myself or Mrs. Segal and the Law Offices of Segal & Segal (256) 533-4529.