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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26775
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Background A person has got a mandatory life sentence under

Resolved Question:

Background: A person has got a mandatory life sentence under 18 USCS §3559. He was found guilty of armed bank robbery. The court found that he had 2 prior serious violent felonies. Therefor he he got the mandatory life sentence.

He believes that one of his priors is a wobbler and could be changed from a felony to a misdemenaour.

The question is: If one of the priors is a wobbler, can he then get rid of the mandatory life sentence?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 years ago.

Here is 18 USCS, 3559, which gives the conditions for a mandatory life sentence in section (c)(1)

If one of the two prior serious violent felonies were reduced to a misdemeanor, then a mandatory life sentence would be an illegal sentence if the predicate offenses did not conform to the conditions for mandatory life.

That said, reductions, even if this person may be technically eligible, are not slam-dunks. The prosecutor and perhaps even the complainant on the case to be reduced will have input. And the defendant's entire criminal history will be reviewed as part of the decision. But is it worth trying? I'd say so.
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