Voisine v. United States

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: October 30, 2015
  • Case #: 14-10154
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 778 F.3d 176
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction, with the mens rea of recklessness, can satisfy the federal law prohibiting firearm possession by those convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic abuse”?

Petitioners pled guilty to misdemeanor simple assault and misdemeanor domestic violence assault under state law, respectively. Petitioners were later convicted for violating federal law 18 USC § 922(g)(9). This federal law states that it is unlawful for any person convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic abuse” to possess a firearm. Petitioners argue that their convictions under the state law do not satisfy their “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” convictions under the federal law. Petitioners argue that domestic violence convictions under the state law can be satisfied by reckless behavior, without intentional behavior. Petitioners ask the Court to review the First Circuit’s holding that any misdemeanor for reckless domestic violence satisfies the § 922(g)(9) requirements.

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