CASE LAW UPDATE: Beware federal court: a defendant’s sentence can be made significantly longer for prior petty misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia convictions in State court
Defendant was charged in federal court and convicted. At sentencing, the District Court included one point for each of defendant’s two (2) prior state convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia. In State court, possession of paraphernalia are a petty misdemeanor, and convictions thereof are treated as being not a criminal offense. However, in federal court, in sentencing, these convictions can be used to enhance a defendant’s sentence, meaning making a defendant’s sentence in federal court significantly longer. Herein, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the District Court did not err in enhancing defendant’s sentence because of her State court possession of paraphernalia convictions.
United States v. Walker, 19-2216, per curiam. Appealed from the United States District court, Northern District of Iowa.
Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.