Rule 35 Motions

Recently, a year-long investigation resulted in 32 people being arrested in Marshall County, West Virginia. The nearly three dozen people arrested have since pleaded guilty to abusing and selling Buprenorphine and Suboxone. The legal counsel for many of these individuals has chosen to file Rule 35 motions to respond to these cases. Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure offers individuals a few methods to either correct or reduce a federal sentence. Correcting or reducing a federal sentence is different from a criminal appeal but in order to file a motion, an individual almost always requires the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney

The Elements of Applicable Laws Concerning Rule 35

A Rule 35 motion is filed by a prosecutor and asks a court to reduce a sentence. After a Rule 35 motion is filed, a court of law is able to reduce a person’s sentence in whatever degree the court decides is appropriate.

There are two important parts of Rule 35, which an individual who is convicted of a criminal offense should understand:

  • Rule 35(A). This section applies to corrections of federal sentences based on technical errors. In many cases, the federal court will directly correct these errors. A correction of this error must be made within 14 days after a person is convicted of a crime.
  • Rule 35(B). This section of law results in a reduction of an individual’s sentence provided that the person offers the government some type of “substantial assistance” in prosecuting another individual. While testifying against another person is often considered “substantial”, there is disagreement between prosecutors about what constitutes “substantial assistance.” After a year has elapsed based a person’s conviction, there are several requirements that must be satisfied for this type of motion including information was not known to the incarcerated person until a year or more after sentencing, information was provided by the individual within a one year period of sentencing but did not become useful to the government until after a year had elapsed, or the incarcerated person was not aware of the usefulness of the information provided until after a year had elapsed.

Retain the Assistance of a Skilled Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

While Rule 35 motions seem like a wise choice, there are several dangers presented by these motions including a risk to the person and person’s family who provides the government with “substantial assistance” in a prosecution. As a result, if you have been convicted of a crime, it is important to understand that a Rule 35 motion is just one of several options that individuals have in avoiding or reducing a sentence. To make sure that a Rule 35 motion is handled in the best possible, however, incarcerated individuals frequently require the assistance of skilled legal counsel. Contact the Federal Criminal Law Center today to obtain assistance in making sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner. Our office can be reached at 404.633.3797 or by completing our convenient online form.