2006 Federal Sentencing Guidelines


CHAPTER FOUR - PART B - CAREER OFFENDERS AND CRIMINAL LIVELIHOOD

§4B1.2. Definitions of Terms Used in Section 4B1.1

(a) The term "crime of violence" means any offense under federal or state law, punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, that --

(1) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another, or

(2) is burglary of a dwelling, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.

(b) The term "controlled substance offense" means an offense under federal or state law, punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, that prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) or the possession of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense.

(c) The term "two prior felony convictions" means (1) the defendant committed the instant offense of conviction subsequent to sustaining at least two felony convictions of either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense (i.e., two felony convictions of a crime of violence, two felony convictions of a controlled substance offense, or one felony conviction of a crime of violence and one felony conviction of a controlled substance offense), and (2) the sentences for at least two of the aforementioned felony convictions are counted separately under the provisions of §4A1.1(a), (b), or (c). The date that a defendant sustained a conviction shall be the date that the guilt of the defendant has been established, whether by guilty plea, trial, or plea of nolo contendere.

Commentary

Application Notes:

1. For purposes of this guideline—

"Crime of violence" and "controlled substance offense" include the offenses of aiding and abetting, conspiring, and attempting to commit such offenses.

"Crime of violence" includes murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, aggravated assault, forcible sex offenses, robbery, arson, extortion, extortionate extension of credit, and burglary of a dwelling. Other offenses are included as "crimes of violence" if (A) that offense has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another, or (B) the conduct set forth (i.e., expressly charged) in the count of which the defendant was convicted involved use of explosives (including any explosive material or destructive device) or, by its nature, presented a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.

"Crime of violence" does not include the offense of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, unless the possession was of a firearm described in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a). Where the instant offense of conviction is the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, §2K2.1 (Unlawful Receipt, Possession, or Transportation of Firearms or Ammunition; Prohibited Transactions Involving Firearms or Ammunition) provides an increase in offense level if the defendant had one or more prior felony convictions for a crime of violence or controlled substance offense; and, if the defendant is sentenced under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), §4B1.4 (Armed Career Criminal) will apply.

Unlawfully possessing a listed chemical with intent to manufacture a controlled substance (21 U.S.C. § 841(d)(1)) is a "controlled substance offense."

Unlawfully possessing a firearm described in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a) (e.g., a sawed-off shotgun or sawed-off rifle, silencer, bomb, or machine gun) is a "crime of violence".

Unlawfully possessing a prohibited flask or equipment with intent to manufacture a controlled substance (21 U.S.C. § 843(a)(6)) is a "controlled substance offense."

Maintaining any place for the purpose of facilitating a drug offense (21 U.S.C. § 856) is a "controlled substance offense" if the offense of conviction established that the underlying offense (the offense facilitated) was a "controlled substance offense."

Using a communications facility in committing, causing, or facilitating a drug offense (21 U.S.C. § 843(b)) is a "controlled substance offense" if the offense of conviction established that the underlying offense (the offense committed, caused, or facilitated) was a "controlled substance offense."

A violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) or § 929(a) is a "crime of violence" or a "controlled substance offense" if the offense of conviction established that the underlying offense was a "crime of violence" or a "controlled substance offense". (Note that in the case of a prior 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) or § 929(a) conviction, if the defendant also was convicted of the underlying offense, the two prior convictions will be treated as related cases under §4A1.2 (Definitions and Instructions for Computing Criminal History).)

"Prior felony conviction" means a prior adult federal or state conviction for an offense punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, regardless of whether such offense is specifically designated as a felony and regardless of the actual sentence imposed. A conviction for an offense committed at age eighteen or older is an adult conviction. A conviction for an offense committed prior to age eighteen is an adult conviction if it is classified as an adult conviction under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the defendant was convicted (e.g., a federal conviction for an offense committed prior to the defendant’s eighteenth birthday is an adult conviction if the defendant was expressly proceeded against as an adult).

2. Section 4B1.1 (Career Offender) expressly provides that the instant and prior offenses must be crimes of violence or controlled substance offenses of which the defendant was convicted. Therefore, in determining whether an offense is a crime of violence or controlled substance for the purposes of §4B1.1 (Career Offender), the offense of conviction (i.e., the conduct of which the defendant was convicted) is the focus of inquiry.

3. The provisions of §4A1.2 (Definitions and Instructions for Computing Criminal History) are applicable to the counting of convictions under §4B1.1.

Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 49); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 268); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 433); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 461); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 528); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendments 546 and 568); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendment 600); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendments 642 and 646); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 674).