United States v. Prince

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 11-24-2014
  • Case #: 13-30212
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Christen for the Court; Circuit Judges Wardlaw and Gould,
  • Full Text Opinion

For purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act, attempted robbery qualifies as a violent felony because it presents “a serious potential risk of physical injury to another” and it possesses similar risks to that of burglary, in degree and in kind.

Following Byron Prince’s (“Prince”) conviction for possessing a firearm while being a felon, he received a fifteen year sentence, which was the mandatory minimum sentence for a defendant who also had three prior violent felony convictions under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”). Prince appealed his sentence and conviction arguing the district court erred by ruling that attempt to commit robbery under California Penal Code § 211 qualifies as a “violent felony” for purposes of the ACCA. In determining whether a conviction qualifies as a violent felony, the panel determined that the conduct must “present a serious potential risk of physical injury to another” and the crime must present similar risks, in degree and in kind, to those of burglary, arson, and extortion. The district court held that attempted robbery qualified as a violent felony because it presented “a serious potential risk of physical injury to another” and it possessed similar risks to that of burglary, in degree and kind. The panel agreed, holding that the district court did not err in convicting and sentencing Prince to the mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years. AFFIRMED.

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