Will The Court Give You A Lighter Sentence Because Of Your Family Caregiving Obligations?
Artistic representations sometimes personify justice as a blindfolded woman, but when it comes to imposing sentences in criminal court, judges see the person, not just the crime. Some offenses have mandatory minimum sentences, but except for those requirements, judges have some leeway in determining the sentences of defendants who plead guilty or are convicted at trial. Most convictions come with a range of sentencing options from which judges can choose. Before imposing a long prison sentence, they look at what other people stand to lose if the defendant spends years behind bars. For example, a Florida woman who pleaded guilty to stealing identifying information from patients at the doctor’s office where she worked received a four-year prison sentence instead of a longer one. The woman was the sole caregiver for her three grandchildren; her daughter had died, and her son was serving a prison sentence. Furthermore, she had chosen her targets carefully, only stealing information from people who were financially secure enough that the financial losses they incurred because of her actions would not reduce them to poverty. She expressed remorse and said she only participated in the identity theft conspiracy because of her own distressed financial situation. Recently, another Florida defendant pleaded guilty to a serious crime and received a lighter sentence than the court could have given her. If you are being accused of drug crimes more severe than simple possession, contact a West Palm Beach drug offenses lawyer. Attorney William Wallshein has more than 38 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County. Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.
Palm Beach County Woman Avoids Prison Time After Pleading Guilty to Drug Trafficking
Methaqualone is a sedative currently categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance. Until the 1970s, though, it was available as a prescription sleeping pill, known by the brand name Quaaludes. Before and shortly after they were outlawed, they were a popular recreational drug, earning them the nickname “disco biscuits” because people frequently took them at dance clubs.
Linda Horn became addicted to Quaaludes in the 1970s when she was in college. By her own admission, she took them on a daily basis for 50 years, except during her pregnancies. When the person who had been the main source of methaqualone for a group of wealthy seniors in South Florida, Horn stepped into the role, she obtained shipments of the drug by mail, through contacts in Cameroon, Jamaica, and Portugal. One of the shipments contained a tracking device planted by the Department of Homeland Security. By the time of her 2021 arrest, the proceeds of her drug trafficking activities added up to $1.3 million.
Before her sentencing, Horn, 70, asked for leniency, since she was the main caregiver for her husband and her 94-year-old mother. The judge sentenced her to three years of probation.
Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Attorney William Wallshein has more than 38 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County. Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.