People with an extensive criminal history may face greater penalties if they are convicted for another offense pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). Only certain offenses qualify as predicate offenses under the ACCA, though. Recently, a Florida court explained what constitutes a violent offense under the ACCA’s elements clause, in which it deliberated whether a prior conviction for aggravated assault could sustain the defendant’s enhanced sentence under the ACCA. If you are charged with assault, it is wise to confer with a Tampa assault defense lawyer to determine your options for seeking a good outcome.
Procedural History of the Case
It is reported that the defendant pleaded guilty to a federal charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Due to the defendant’s four prior convictions for violent crimes, the court ruled that the defendant should be sentenced to increased penalties under the ACCA and sentenced him to 211 months in prison.
Allegedly, the court relied on the conclusion that aggravated assault with a deadly weapon qualified as a violent felony under the ACCA. The defendant appealed his conviction and sentence, and the court affirmed. He filed a petition for rehearing, and the court certified his questions to the Florida Supreme Court. Continue Reading ›