United States v. Hernandez-Castro

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 02-25-2016
  • Case #: 14-10497
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Melloy for the Court; Circuit Judges Ikuta and Hurwitz
  • Full Text Opinion

A sentence consistent with a negotiated plea agreement may not be appealed unless an appellate waiver applies.

In a plea agreement, Rosa Hernandez-Castro plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. The parties stipulated and agreed to a sentencing range of fifty-seven to seventy-one months after applying a four level downward departure for fast track and a two level enhancement for “use of a minor to avoid detection.” The district court applied a two level downward departure for fast track and an additional two level downward departure based on an anticipated sentencing amendment. The resulting sentencing range was forty-six to fifty-seven months. The government recommended a sentence “at the low end.” Hernandez-Castro was sentenced to forty-six months imprisonment. Hernandez-Castro appealed her sentence, arguing the government breached the agreement which invalidated her appeal waiver. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that a sentence consistent with a negotiated plea agreement may not be appealed unless an appellate waiver applies. Here, Hernandez-Castro argued that the government breached the agreement when it did not object to the district court’s departures. The government did not change its recommendation and, in fact, Hernandez-Castro even got a more lenient sentence than the parties had agreed. The government did not breach and the appellate waiver is valid. DISMISSED.

Advanced Search