United States v. Mendez-Gonzalez

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 10-05-2012
  • Case #: 10-30369
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Graber and Rawlinson; Senior Eleventh Circuit Judge Black
  • Full Text Opinion

When a plea agreement includes a waiver to appeal a sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3742, a defendant may not appeal a supervised release condition because the word "sentence" includes supervised release as well as prison time.

Lino Mendez-Gonzalez (“Defendant”), pleaded guilty to a drug-related offense and received a downward departure sentence of 100 months in prison and five years supervised release. He appealed the requirement of periodic drug testing during his supervised release. According to the government, in the plea agreement, Defendant waived the right to appeal his sentence, which includes any supervised release conditions. The Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal without taking oral arguments. The court concluded that the appeal waiver was enforceable based on the considerations laid out in U.S. v. Bibler: that (1) Defendant’s plea was knowing and voluntary based on review of the plea colloquy and record; (2) the district judge did not “advise defendant, without qualification, that he . . . ha[d] a right to appeal.”; (3) Defendant’s sentence was below the guideline range and, thus, not illegal; and (4) supervised release is a required condition in most circumstances under 18 U.S.C §§ 3583 and 3563. The court added that the scope of Defendant’s waiver bars his challenge because he agreed to waive “[a]ny right conferred by Title 18, [U.S.C.], Section 3742 to appeal the sentence,” and the word “sentence” includes supervised release as well as prison time. APPEAL DISMISSED.

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