Drug trafficking offenses, gun offenses, wire and bank fraud, tax evasion, violent crimes on federal or tribal land, and other federal crimes.

2014 Amendements to Drug Sentencing Guidelines

FAQs: 2014 Amendments to USSG §1B1.10: Retroactivity of “Drugs Minus
2” (Amendment 782) and Sentence Reductions in Cases Involving Mandatory
Minimums and Substantial Assistance1
In April and July 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission made two significant
amendments to USSG §1B1.10 that affect motions for sentence reductions filed under 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(2). First, the Commission made amendment 782 retroactive. Amendment 782
changed the threshold amounts in the drug quantity tables at USSG §§2D1.1 and 2D1.11, so that
many, but not all,2 drug quantities will have a base offense level that is two levels lower than
before the amendment. A special limiting instruction accompanies the amendment: “The court
shall not order a reduced term of imprisonment based on Amendment 782 unless the effective
date of the court’s order is November 1, 2015, or later.” Second, the Commission clarified that
the starting point for calculating a reduction comparable to the substantial assistance reduction
given at the original sentencing (or Rule 35) is the bottom of the amended guideline range, not
the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment. For those seeking relief under the FSA
amendment (Amendment 750) or any retroactive amendment other than the 2014 amendment
that changed the drug quantity table (Amendment 782), §1B1.10 contains no special instruction
that the effective date of release must be Nov 1, 2015 or later.3
This FAQ answers many of the
questions that arise under §1B1.10. It is meant to be a general primer and to provide a “quick
start.” More extensive research will be required when confronting many of the issues discussed

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