The federal legislature aims to prevent people with extensive criminal histories from continuing to violate the law. Thus, they enacted statutes that allow the federal courts to impose greater penalties on career offenders. Only people convicted of certain crimes will qualify as career offenders, though, as explained in a ruling recently issued in a Florida case in which the defendant was convicted of numerous violent offenses. If you are dealing with accusations that you committed a crime of violence, it is wise to talk to a Clearwater violent crime defense attorney to assess your options for protecting your interests.
The Defendant’s Criminal History
It is alleged that when the defendant was serving a sentence in a Florida prison, he sent threatening letters to the state attorney’s office. He was subsequently charged with threatening to use weapons of mass destruction and mailing threatening communications in violation of federal law. He pleaded guilty to all charges.
It is reported that the probation office then issued a report classifying the defendant as a career offender on the grounds that he had at least two prior felony convictions for crimes of violence. Specifically, he was previously convicted of robbery, aggravated battery, and mailing threatening letters. The defendant objected to the report, arguing that only one of his prior convictions was for a violent crime and, therefore, he was not a career offender. The court overruled his objection and applied the career offender enhancement, sentencing the defendant to ten years in prison. The defendant appealed.