For a variety of reasons, it is sometimes helpful to know the maximum punishment applicable to a particular type of offense. For instance, when charging a defendant with possession of a firearm by a felon, the indictment should set forth the maximum penalty by which the defendant’s prior felony offense was punishable. For some defendants that prior offense will be an older crime that was sentenced under unfamiliar laws that aren’t readily available online. With that in mind I prepared a chart, available here, that shows the maximum punishment applicable to a particular offense class at a given point in time. Each number shows the maximum sentence applicable to the “worst-case” defendant—the highest maximum in the aggravated range for a prior record level VI defendant. I went back to 1981, the start of Fair Sentencing, so if you have someone with an earlier conviction please feel free to give me a call and we’ll track down the relevant statute.
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