In United States v. Paredes, 15-Cr-436, EDNY Judge Jack B. Weinstein held that a defendant’s conviction for violating New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192.1, a violation and not a crime, does not result in criminal history points, thereby allowing the defendant to qualify for safety valve relief from a mandatory minimum sentence. Judge Weinstein concluded that the Sentencing Commission could not have intended to include VTL 1192.1 – New York’s Driving While Ability Impaired statute – because the statue “is a light, noncriminal offense with mens rea squeezed out of it.” Opinion at 14. You can read Judge Weinstein’s opinion here. The New York Law Journal has coverage here. Mr. Paredes was represented by Len Kamdang of the Federal Defenders of New York.
In United State v Henry, 15-Cr-179, SDNY Judge Paul A. Crotty imposed a sentence of 36 months in a case in which the career offender guideline applied and called for a sentence of 151-188 months. Judge Crotty noted that other judges in the SDNY declined to impose sentences within the career offender guideline range, especially in similar cases where the defendant became involved in drug selling to support an addition. Mr. Henry was represented by Robert Baum of the Federal Defenders of New York.