United States v. Gonzalez

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 09-10-2013
  • Case #: 12-50160
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Graber fro the Court; Circuit Judges Rawlinson and Watford
  • Full Text Opinion

When calculating a criminal history score, because U.S.S.G. 4A1.2(a) is a bright-line rule, two sentences cannot count as one when they were imposed on separate days, regardless of their previously scheduled dates. Deportation does not automatically end a parole sentence under California state law.

Juventino Gonzalez pled guilty to reentering the country after removal under 8 U.S.C. 1326. He was on parole for previous crimes when he reentered the United States. On appeal he claimed that the district court miscalculated his sentencing score for two reasons. First, he claimed that two of his past sentences should have only counted as one under United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) § 4A1.2(a) because the two sentence hearings were originally scheduled to occur on the same day, but one was subsequently rescheduled. Second, he claimed that he was not on parole when he reentered the country illegally and therefore the court erred in adding points to his criminal history score under U.S.S.G. 4A1.1(d) (a two-point enhancement in a criminal history score for committing an offense while on parole). The Ninth Circuit held that, when calculating a criminal history score, because U.S.S.G. 4A1.2(a) is a bright-line rule, two sentences cannot count as one when they were imposed on separate days, regardless of their previously scheduled dates. The panel also determined that Gonzalez was indeed on parole when he illegally reentered the country because, contrary to his claims, deportation did not automatically end his parole under state law, and therefore the district court did not err in adding points to his criminal history score under U.S.S.G. 4A1.1(d). AFFIRMED.

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