Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Garcia-Martinez: Florida Second Degree Burglary is not a Violent Felony

In U.S. v. Garcia-Martinez, No. 14-15725 (Jan. 11, 2017), the Court held that a prior conviction for second-degree burglary of a dwelling in violation of Fla. Stat. § 810.02(3) does not count as a violent felong for purposes of USSG 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii). Noting a Circuit conflict on the meaning of a “dwelling,” and siding with the majority view, the Court held that a generic dwelling is a space intended for use as “a human habitation.” Florida, however, includes the “curtilage” of a space within its definition of a “dwelling.” This takes Florida’s definition outside the generic definition. Further, the dwelling and the curtilage are not alternative elements of a burglary, just different means of committing the offense. Thus, the locational element is indivisible. The Court therefore vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing.