United States v. Urrutia-Contreras

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 04-10-2015
  • Case #: 14-50113
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Senior District Judge Gettleman for the Court; Circuit Judges Gould and Kleinfeld
  • Full Text Opinion

At a revocation proceeding, a district court must provide the government an opportunity to offer a statement on their position pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 32.1.

In 2011, Antonio Urrutia-Contreras was sentenced to fifteen months in prison for illegal re-entry into Arizona, with a three year supervised release period. The government conceded that the sentencing guideline offense level was computed wrongfully because Urrutia-Contreras’ previous conviction was a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Two years later, Urrutia-Contreras attempted illegal re-entry a second time, where he was given a twelve month sentence, and a consecutive fifteen month sentence for violating his supervised release. The district court did not give the government an opportunity to voice any sentencing recommendations, which resulted in Urrutia-Contreras appealing the final order. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that the government needs to be given the opportunity to either agree or disagree with the sentencing during revocation proceedings. The government’s position is an important factor for the court to decide the appropriate sentencing. Therefore, due to the government not having been given an opportunity to agree or disagree with the sentencing, the district court violated the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 32.1. VACATED and REMANDED.

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