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2020 Increases in CJA Hourly Rates

The Judiciary’s Defender Services account received sufficient fiscal year 2020 funding in the "Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020” to increase the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel attorney hourly rates from $148 to $152 for non-capital work and from $190 to $195 for capital work performed on or after January 1, 2020. Where the appointment of counsel occurred before this effective date, the new compensation rates apply to that portion of services provided on or after January 1, 2020.

Drugs Minus Two Amendment Information

In April of 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission approved a two-level, across-the-board reduction in the drug guidelines known as the Drugs Minus Two Amendment. On July 18, 2014, the Commission voted to apply the reduced guidelines retroactively. The amendments took effect on November 1, 2014.   Our office is coordinating with the courts, probation office and the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Texas to determine which drug defendants are eligible for the reduction in sentence. If your case is granted the reduction, it will not be effective until November 1, 2015. No one will be released prior to November 1, 2015.   There are approximately 2500 defendants in Texas Eastern who may qualify for this reduction, so it will take some time to review every case that may be eligible. During this time, please have patience with the process. All cases involving a drug sentence will be reviewed and cross-checked for eligibility for a reduction in sentence, and we expect court orders to be issued in all drug cases regarding eligibility for the reduction in sentence. The Federal Defender's Office will review cases in order of projected new release date. Again, please be patient as the Court conducts this process.   You can review the drug defendant's motion and court order status at You may email us at