United States v. Arreola

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-22-2014
  • Case #: 13-10341
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Senior District Judge Pratt for the Court; Circuit Judges Schroeder and Callahan
  • Full Text Opinion

When determining if a particular crime fits within a categorical definition outlined by another statute, it is appropriate to look at the definition of the crime itself and not at the particular circumstances surrounding the offense.

Appellant was sentenced with illegal reentry after deportation in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326. The district court applied a sixteen-level enhancement based on appellant’s prior battery conviction for injury on a peace officer. Per United States Sentencing Guidelines § 2L1.2, a sixteen-level enhancement is appropriate for those who have been convicted of prior crimes of violence. The panel looked not at the facts of the prior conviction but rather at the statutory definition of the offense to determine if battery on a peace officer was a crime of violence pursuant to the U.S.S.G. In order to be convicted of battery on a peace officer the defendant must willfully and unlawfully apply force that is sufficient to inflict physical injury, which requires professional medical treatment. The panel concluded that because of the intent and severity requirements for battery on a peace officer, it was a crime of violence sufficient to trigger the sentencing enhancement. AFFIRMED.

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