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Parents & Mandatory Minimums: What You Should Know

Did you know that mandatory minimum sentences do not reduce crime? According to FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums), these sentences do more harm than good. A recent study found that even harsh mandatory sentences do not lessen the likelihood of a given criminal offense. Instead, they cost the United States significant funds and resources. Even more importantly, mandatory minimums can destroy parent-child relationships.

One out of every 28 children in the United States has a parent in prison or jail. Mandatory minimum sentences were originally created to target "kingpins" - high-profile criminals with violent criminal records. On an individual level, these laws have the opposite effect; they trap low-level offenders without the leverage to bargain for a more lenient punishment.

Additionally, these minimums create a serious liability for prisons and jails across the nation. Research suggests that U.S. prisons cost taxpayers nearly $60 billion in 2012 alone, even though half of federal prisoners are incarcerated for nonviolent drug crimes.

Some of these prisoners have families, including young children. At The Hammer Law Firm, we are committed to fighting for justice – especially justice for families. One of our lead attorneys, Nicole Chiravollatti, responded to FAMM's statistic, saying that the firm takes these matters very seriously.

"Not only does a prison sentence affect our client's personal life, it can also destroy his relationship with his children," she said.

As a parent, Nicole's passion for protecting families comes from experience. "As parents ourselves, we always work hard to keep our clients out of prison so that they can remain active in their children's lives," she explained, "It's not just good for our clients and their children. It's good for society."

What to do After an Arrest:

If you or someone you love is facing a criminal charge or investigation, we encourage you to contact The Hammer Law Firm today. Our team is dedicated to fighting for clients in St. Louis and has three decades of collective legal experience. As former prosecutors, we understand both sides of the courtroom and are ready to use this advantage to help you case. Call our office today for a free consultation regarding your case. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


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