Federal prosecutors may not fax defense lawyers notice of theirintent to seek a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence based on a prior drug conviction sincethe service requirement is jurisdictional and faxing is not authorized by the rules ofprocedure, a federal judge has ruled.

In his 23-page opinion in United States v. Galiczynski,U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno found that Congress included a service requirementin Section 851, the repeat drug offender statute, so that a defendant would have“adequate notice of the penalties he faces and adequate time to contest the validity ofthe prior conviction.”

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