A software program designed to hijack, damage, or steal information from a device or system. Examples include spyware, adware, viruses, and many more. The software can be delivered in a number of ways, including decoy websites, spam, and infected USB drives.

Mandatory Conditions

Non-discretionary conditions required by statute for defendants placed on probation or supervised release.

Mandatory Minimum

A non-discretionary penalty required by statute. In federal law, many drug trafficking offenses carry mandatory minimum penalties. There are also mandatory minimums prescribed for some firearms offenses, as well as other types of offenses.

Means of Identification

Means of Identification is defined by statue at 18 U.S.C. §1028(d)(7) and has to be of an actual, not fictitious, individual. Means of identification includes any name or number that can be used alone or in conjunction with other information to identify a specific individual. Examples include a name, a social security number or date of birth.

Military Sentences

A sentence pronounced by a military court. Only military sentences that are imposed by a general or special court-martial are counted for criminal history (§4A1.2(g)).


An offense punishable by one year of imprisonment or less.

Misprision of a Felony

A concealment and nondisclosure of a felony by a person who did not participate in the crime.

Modified Categorical Approach

Similar to the categorical approach, the modified categorical approach is used to determine whether an offense (usually a prior conviction) fits within a given definition, such as for “crime of violence,” ”drug trafficking offense,” or similar term. The court must compare the elements of the offense of conviction to the relevant definition. Under the modified approach, the court may use certain official court documents, such as a charging document or plea agreement from the prior case, to determine the elements of the offense of conviction.

Money Laundering

Concealing illegally-obtained assets by transferring them to a legal business or investment for the purpose of disguising their illegal nature.