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1467

Use of Magistrate to Reduce Postal Violation Caseload

Federal Magistrate Judges provide an effective avenue for disposition of many postal violations at considerable savings in prosecutive and judicial resources. Since sentences for first offenders with little or no prior record and lack of extensive involvement in postal depredations generally fall within the range of punishment which could be imposed by a Magistrate Judge for a minor offense, serious thought should be given in such cases to accepting pleas to misdemeanors before Magistrate Judges instead of proceeding with the cases as felonies. Factors which would tend to favor felony prosecution are the lengthy prior criminal record of a defendant and the degree to which his/her activities and that of others created a substantial interference with the functioning of the postal system.

[cited in USAM 9-64.200]