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Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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Can you explain what exactly a safety valve is in a criminal

Resolved Question:

Can you explain what exactly a safety valve is in a criminal case and who can use this.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 6 years ago.

Safety valve relates to sentencing in federal cases. Please tell me about your case and I can let you know if you are eligible. Please include the offense, whether a gun was involved in any way and if you have any criminal history.


Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My husband has been charged with 922G. He is not legal. Charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He had a gun on him, but it was not used. He has no criminal history.

Expert:  Joseph replied 6 years ago.

As you may know, federal sentencing guidelines are quite harsh and rather strict. Additionally, many federal crimes involve mandatory minimums, meaning that a person convicted of such an offense is required to be sentenced to at least a certain term of imprisonment.


The federal safety valve was a mechanism created to permit judges to sentence people to something less than the guidelines in appropriate situations. To qualify for the safety valve, the person must meet the following criteria:


  • have little or no criminal history
  • no one was injured during the crime
  • no gun was used
  • the person was not the organizer of the crime
  • the person fully cooperated with the prosecution and told the prosecutor everything about the crime


Unfortunately, your husband does not qualify for the safety valve as the crime itself requires a gun and, as stated above, this disqualifies a person for the safety valve..




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Expert:  Joseph replied 6 years ago.

I am going off-line for the evening. Please feel free to respond, if necessary, and know that I will be back on-line tomorrow.


Thank you for your patience.