United States v. Cisneros

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-19-2014
  • Case #: 13-30066
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Smith for the Court; Circuit Judges Goodwin and Ikuta.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Oregon law, fleeing or attempting to elude police is a divisible statute and use of a vehicle in commission of the offense will qualify as a violent felony predicate offense for the purposes of sentencing pursuant to the Federal Armed Career Criminal Act's residual clause.

Jorge Armando Cisneros ("Cisneros") pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of federal law. The prosecution sought to enhance Cisneros' sentence pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act ("ACCA") based on Cisneros' prior convictions for fleeing or attempting to elude police, burglary, and drug offenses. The District Court held that all six of Cisneros' offenses qualified under the residual clause of the ACCA as predicate offenses and sentenced him to the mandatory minimum of 180 months in prison. Cisneros appealed contending that his three convictions for fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and two convictions for burglary do not qualify as violent felonies and therefore are not predicate offenses for the purposes of enhancement under the ACCA. The Ninth Circuit held that the Oregon statute on fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer is divisible and based on the indictment, Cisneros was charged with vehicular flight which was previously held as a violent felony and qualified as a predicate under the ACCA. The panel also held that first-degree burglary "categorically poses a serious potential risk of physical injury to people present in a dwelling at the time of a burglary" and therefore qualifies as a violent felony predicate offense pursuant to the ACCA. Because Cisneros' prior convictions qualify as predicate offenses under the ACCA, the sentence imposed by the District Court was appropriate. AFFIRMED.

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