Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, February 14, 2014

Smith: Flight in vehicle or on foot is "violent felony"

In U.S. v. Smith, No. 12-14842 (Feb. 11, 2014), after a remand from the Supreme Court to reconsider the case in light of U.S. v. Descamps, the Court held that the crime of fleeing a police officer, in violation of Fla. Stat. § 316.1935(2), is categorically a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act. The Court first found that because § 316.1935(2) prohibits only vehicular flight, as distinct from fleeing on foot, the offense posed the inherent risk that made it a violent felony under ACCA. Alternatively, the Court held that fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, whether in a vehicle or on foot, is a violent felony under ACCA. The offender, whether on foot or in a vehicle, creates risks comparable to those created by the offenses listed in the ACCA residual clause.