Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, November 21, 2016

Esprit: Florida burglary is not an ACCA "crime of violence"

In U.S. v. Esprit, No 14-13066 (Nov. 21, 2016), the Court held that, post-Johnson, Florida burglary in violation of Fla. Stat. § 810.02(1)(b)(1) is not a “crime of violence” for purposes of a sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Crimnal Act (ACCA). The Court determined that Fla. Stat. § 810.02(1)(b)(1) is an “indivisible” statute, because a jury is not required in its verdict to identify the means that were used to commit the burglary, whether by entering a building or entering a building’s “curtilage.” Unlawful entry of a building or its curtilage are possible alternative means of committing the offense of burglary, not alternative elements of the burglary offense. As a result, the “modified categorical approach,” which authorizes examining the facts underlying a conviction, does not apply. Consequently, since the Supreme Court in James held that the inclusion of “curtilage” in Florida’s burglary offense takes this offense outside the definition of generic burglary, which requires entry into, or remaining in, a building or other structure, Florida burglary did not qualify as a “crime of violence.” The Court therefore vacated Esprit’s sentence and remanded to the district court with instructions that he be resentenced without the ACCA enhancement.