Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Cortes-Salazar: Padilla-Reyes remains binding

In U.S. v. Cortes-Salazar, No. 11-11428 (May 30, 2012), the Court held that a prior conviction for a "lewd assault act," in violation of Fla. Stat. § 800.04, qualified as "crime of violence" under U.S.S.G. § 2L1.2, and therefore supported the 16-level enhancement the district court imposed on a defendant convicted of illegal re-entry after deportation.
The Court noted that it had previously held in U.S. v. Padilla-Reyes that a prior conviction under Fla. Stat. § 800.04, with or without victim contact, qualified as an "aggravated felony" for purposes of § 2L1.2 and therefore supported a 16-level enhancement. The Court recognized that the Guideline definitions had changed since Padilla-Reyes. The Court also noted a number of cases decided subsequent to Padilla-Reyes. However, the Court rejected the defendant’s arguments that these changes in the law undermined the viability of Padilla-Reyes, and determined, to the contrary, that Padilla-Reyes "remains binding precedent."