Fifth Circuit - Supervised Release

United States v. Prentice, 956 F.3d 295 (5th Cir. 2020). Imposing the standard visitation condition requiring the defendant to “permit a probation officer to visit him at any time at home or elsewhere and [] permit confiscation of any contraband observed in plain view by the U.S. Probation Officer,” was not plain error because the Circuit had not yet addressed the defendant’s challenges to it.

United States v. Diggles, 957 F.3d 551 (5th Cir. 2020) (en banc). A court is not required to “pronounce” a mandatory condition of supervised release, as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d). The court must “pronounce” all other conditions. A condition is “pronounced” when a sentencing court conducts an “oral in-court adoption of a written list of proposed conditions,” such as adopting the “special conditions” outlined in the PSR or adopting the “standard conditions” set forth in “courtwide or judge-specific standing orders.” Courts must articulate reasons justifying any discretionary conditions it imposes. Plain-error review applies when a defendant fails to raise a pronouncement objection, had notice of the proposed conditions, and had an opportunity to object.

United States v. Grogan, 977 F.3d 348 (5th Cir. 2020). The court need not orally recite every condition of supervised release if it adopts the proposed conditions in the presentence report and gives the parties an opportunity to object to the conditions at sentencing.

United States v. Becerra, 977 F.3d 373 (5th Cir. 2020). The court committed plain error when it imposed a condition of supervised release prohibiting the defendant from accessing a computer or the internet for ten years after the completion of his prison sentence. The blanket ban was not narrowly tailored in scope or duration and violated established precedent.

United States v. Martinez, 979 F.3d 271 (5th Cir. 2020). A judge may not delegate to the probation officer the decision to require inpatient, rather than outpatient, treatment as a condition of supervised release “because of the significant liberty interests at stake.”

United States v. Cartagena-Lopez, 979 F.3d 356 (5th Cir. 2020). The fugitive tolling doctrine applies to supervised release.

United States v. Garcia, 983 F.3d 820 (5th Cir. 2020). The court properly pronounced the discretionary conditions of supervised release when it referred to “this judgment” (either to an order signed by the defendant setting forth those discretionary conditions or a later entered judgment containing those same conditions) at sentencing and gave the defendant an opportunity to object to those conditions.

United States v. Garcia, 983 F.3d 820 (5th Cir. 2020). The court did not err in imposing a supervised release condition requiring the defendant, who was indigent at the time of sentencing but found to be employable upon release from prison, to pay $25 per month for drug treatment.

United States v. Martinez, 987 F.3d 432 (5th Cir. 2021). “[G]iving a probation officer the option to require inpatient treatment [as a condition of supervised release] impermissibly delegates a core judicial function.” A “significant liberty interest” is “at stake in confinement during inpatient treatment.”

United States v. Vigil, 989 F.3d 406 (5th Cir. 2021). In a case where “the defendant has a history of substance abuse and drug-related arrests,” the court may impose supervised release conditions “requir[ing] substance abuse treatment and prohibit[ing] the use of intoxicating substances, including alcohol []—even when there is no evidence in the record of alcohol abuse specifically.”

United States v. Mims, 992 F.3d 406 (5th Cir. 2021). The court’s revocation sentence was based on a wrongly calculated guideline range of 15 to 21 months (for a Grade A violation) instead of 6 to 12 months (for a Grade B violation). However, this miscalculation did not constitute plain error.

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