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United States v. Flores

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
531 Fed. Appx. 422 (2013)


Lorenzo Flores-Alejo (Flores) (defendant), an illegal immigrant, had been deported from the United States on three previous occasions. The fourth time he entered the country illegally, Flores was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned in Texas for driving while intoxicated (DWI). The United States government (plaintiff) successfully prosecuted Flores in federal district court for "being found in" the United States illegally after having been deported, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a). The trial judge enhanced the severity of Flores's sentence, pursuant to § 4A1.1.(d) of the federal sentencing guidelines, which pertained to illegal aliens here "while under a criminal justice sentence," namely Flores's DWI imprisonment. Flores appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, arguing that his involuntary imprisonment for DWI accounted for his being found in the United States, and that an enhanced sentence for an involuntary act that bore no relation to his culpability violated his rights under the Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the federal Constitution.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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