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United States v. Hernandez-Hernandez
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
519 F.3d 1236 (2008)
Alfredo Hernandez-Hernandez (defendant) was a Mexican citizen. Hernandez had been deported from the United States twice. One night, Hernandez drank alcohol until he blacked out. Without any recollection of how he got there, Hernandez was present in the United States. Shortly after Hernandez regained his orientation, he was arrested by a United States border-patrol agent. Hernandez did not have legal documentation authorizing his presence in the United States. The government (plaintiff) indicted Hernandez for illegally reentering the United States after a prior deportation. The government filed a motion in limine to exclude any evidence of Hernandez’s voluntary intoxication. Hernandez opposed the motion and argued that because he had no memory of crossing the border, he could have been transported across the border against his will, which would relieve him of criminal liability for illegal entry. However, Hernandez offered no evidence of being transported against his will. The district court granted the government’s motion in limine because illegal entry is a general-intent crime, so voluntary intoxication may not be a defense. Hernandez entered a guilty plea conditioned on his right to appeal the exclusion of evidence of voluntary intoxication. On appeal, Hernandez argued that evidence of his blackout would show that it was possible that he was abducted and did not enter the United States on his own accord.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gorsuch, J.)
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