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Using or Carrying a Firearm During a Crime of Violence or Drug Trafficking Offense

18 U.S.C. § 924(c) provides for a fixed mandatory prison term for anyone who uses or carries a firearm during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, or who possesses a firearm in furtherance of such an offense.  These penalties are consecutive to any other sentence, such as for the underlying offense.  The firearms involved are subject to seizure.  There is no defined maximum penalty, although most circuit courts conclude that the implied maximum penalty is life.
18 U.S.C. 924(c) provides: 
(A) Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by this subsection or by any other      
provision of law, any person who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime (including a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime that provides for an enhanced punishment if committed
by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of the
United States, uses or carries a firearm, or who, in furtherance of any such crime, possesses a firearm, shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such crime of violence or drug trafficking crime—
(i) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years;
(ii) if the firearm is brandished, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 7 years; and
(iii) if the firearm is discharged, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years.

(B)If the firearm possessed by a person convicted of a violation of this subsection—

(i) is a short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or semiautomatic assault weapon, the person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years; or
(ii) is a machinegun or a destructive device, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, the person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 30 years.
(C)In the case of a second or subsequent conviction under this subsection, the person shall—
(i) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 25 years; and
(ii) if the firearm involved is a machinegun or a destructive device, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, be sentenced to imprisonment for life.

(D)Notwithstanding any other provision of law—

(i) a court shall not place on probation any person convicted of a violation of this subsection; and
(ii) no term of imprisonment imposed on a person under this subsection shall run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment imposed on the person, including any term of imprisonment imposed for the crime of violence or drug trafficking crime during which the firearm was used, carried, or possessed.
For specific information about your case, please call Federal Criminal Defense Attorney David J. Sobel at 954-383-3000.00