The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 is a United States federal law that provides sentence enhancements for felons who commit crimes with firearms if they are convicted of certain crimes three or more times. If a person has three or more prior convictions for offenses that are “violent felony” offenses or “serious drug offenses,” the Act provides a minimum sentence of fifteen years imprisonment, instead of the ten-year maximum prescribed under the Gun Control Act. The Act provides for an implied maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The Armed Career Criminal Act has been scrutinized lately by the U.S. Supreme Court and several federal district courts, including the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The law is vague as to what constitutes an offense of violence or serious drug offense under the statute. Consequently, several cases are being argued all over the country that will affect the Armed Career Criminal Act’s application to individuals charged with federal crimes. If you believe you have prior criminal convictions that may render you an Armed Career Criminal, it is imperative that you contact an attorney who is familiar with the changes in law in this area and can make all arguments available to you that you should not be categorized under this Act. The punishments are harsh and severe for an Armed Career Criminal and the only way to avoid these consequences is to be knowledgeable about the law and the facts of the case, which requires representation by an experienced attorney like Molly.