United States v. Castro-Verdugo

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 05-06-2014
  • Case #: 13-50386
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Graber for the Court; Chief Judge Kozinski and Senior District Judge Breyer
  • Full Text Opinion

The district court has jurisdiction to revoke probation when (1) the defendant is still serving a term of probation and (2) the defendant violates its conditions.

Fidel Castro-Verdugo challenged on appeal the district court’s jurisdiction to revoke probation. In 2011, the defendant was convicted of illegal reentry. The district court sentenced him to a period of probation and a stayed custodial sentence. In 2013, the defendant was convicted of illegal reentry again, which violated the terms of his 2011 probation. He argued on appeal that the district court lacked the authority in 2011 to impose probation in conjunction with imprisonment, therefore the district court in 2013 did not have jurisdiction either. The Ninth Circuit held that the district court did have proper jurisdiction because the defendant was serving a term of probation when he was convicted in 2013, and the 2013 conviction violated the conditions of his probation. The panel recognized that the district court exceeded its authority under 18 U.S.C. § 3561(a)(3) with its 2011 sentence. However, the panel noted that a challenge to the validity of the original sentence must be made through a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 petition within one year of when the judgment of conviction becomes final. The underlying sentence therefore cannot be analyzed when probation revocation proceedings are reviewed or conducted. The district court’s imposition of a term of supervised release in connection with the defendant’s 2013 probation violation was also supported by the panel because there was no procedural error made by the district court, and the supervised release was not substantively unreasonable given the defendant’s “high number of prior reentries.” The panel therefore affirmed the district court’s probation revocation proceedings. AFFIRMED.

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