The recent enactment of the First Step Act has allowed many inmates to receive reduced sentences. As the courts continue to navigate the parameters of the Act, they are clarifying the guidelines for determining who is eligible for a sentence reduction. This was illustrated in a recent Michigan case, in which a defendant appealed the denial of his request for a reduced sentence for his bank robbery conviction. If you are charged with a theft crime, it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Michigan criminal defense lawyer about your potential defenses.
The Procedural History
It is reported that the defendant was charged with and convicted of robbing a bank. He was sentenced to 165 months in prison and is serving his sentence in federal prison. He moved for a reduced sentence under the First Step Act, citing his age and other health conditions as reasons for his concerns that he may develop severe complications from COVID-19. The government filed a response in opposition to his motion. The court ultimately denied his motion without a hearing.
Sentence Reductions Under the First Step Act
The court explained that district courts could only modify a defendant’s sentence if they have statutory authority to do so. The First Step Act provides them with such authority. Specifically, it states, in the relevant part, that upon a defendant’s motion, a court may reduce a defendant’s sentence after considering multiple enumerated factors if it finds that there are compelling and extraordinary reasons that warrant such a reduction. Continue Reading ›