Did this someone go to trial? What state did this occur? What type of prior record does this person have?
Thanks for the follow up information so I can better assist.
Please CLICK HERE to read the VA penalties for felony convictions so that you can understand the sentencing structure - possession of cocaine (a schedule II CDS) is a class 5 Felony - according to the law as I have provided the Class 5 felony is a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.
Therefore, if there are no other matters or circumstances involving this crime (near a playground or other child-like area No Drug Zone, No firearm on person) IF IN Fact the mere possession was the only charge of conviction and the person was not on any proabation or parole that would have been revoked adding to the sentence for possession - then there really is a huge discrepency - it is possible that 15 years ago the law was different and that the sentence was indeed in the guidelines and that changes have since been made
I wanted to give you that background - I suggest that you might want to contact the VA Bar Association and seek a referral - you can do that HERE - perhaps there is an attorney who would investigate this matter and handle it pro bono.
Again, absent any other facts and matters there does appear to be a serious injustice of the penatly imposed.
Best of success to you in this matter,
The link I gave you for the Bar Pro Bono services - meaning the attorney would take it for free - is the only recourse. This really is such an injustice - have you thought about going to the press with this information. I have provided the law for you to print out. Sometimes, if press is generated attorneys will come forward and want to take the matter pro bono. There really are no other suggestions - unfortunately, we can't make attorneys take cases.
The only other thing I can suggest is contact the University of VA Law School - HERE and you might be able to find an attorney/professor who would get interested enough to help locate a pro bono attorney to work with students in this matter
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