Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Baptiste: Diversionary Disposition to Withheld Adjudications Get One Criminal History Point under 4A1.1(c), not Two Points Under 4A1.1(b)

In United States v. Baptiste, No. 16-10781 (Nov. 28, 2017) (Rosenbaum, Wilson, Titus), the Court held that the district court incorrectly calculated the defendant's criminal history category and therefore vacated the sentence.

On appeal, the parties framed their arguments around whether a Florida court's imposition of a sentence of "198 days time served," referring at least predominately to the defendant's time in immigration custody, qualified as a "prior sentence of imprisonment" under 4A1.1(b) (warranting two points).  However, the Court found it unnecessary to reach that issue, because circuit precedent established that his conviction warranted only a single point under 4A1.1(c), since adjudication had been withheld.  While there was an exception to that rule for diversionary dispositions, that exception applied only to 4A1.1(c), not 4A1.1(b).  Therefore, he could not have received two points under the latter provision.  And, while he did receive a single point under 4A1.1(c) under the diversionary exception, that single point changed his criminal history category, the Court vacated the sentence and remanded for re-sentencing.