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Crack Cocaine Vs. Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

Accused of a crime involving crack cocaine or powder cocaine? Contact our experienced Chicago drug lawyers for excellent representation on Illinois and Federal drug cases. Don't wait until it's too late. Call our Chicago criminal defense lawyers now at (312) 466-9466.

For many years, people charged with drug crimes involving crack, also referred to as cocaine base, received a sentence about 100 times tougher than people charged with crimes involving powder cocaine.

However, effective November 1, 2010, the Fair Sentencing Act has shrunk that unfair difference to a ratio of 18:1, down from the previous 100:1.

The Fair Sentencing Act helps defendants in three ways. First, it amended the drug quantity table in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, reducing the sentencing ranges in crack cases.

Second, it increased the amount of crack cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimums.

Third, it increased the amount of crack cocaine necessary to trigger higher maximum sentences. This also has the effect of increasing the amount of crack cocaine necessary to trigger a higher sentence for persons who are Career Offenders under the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

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