United States v. Brown, No. 17-4745 (4th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
A Newport News police officer pulled over Brown’s car for a traffic violation; he smelled alcohol and observed that Brown had slurred speech. A preliminary breath test measured a blood alcohol content of approximately 0.23, over the legal limit for driving in Virginia. Officers informed Brown that he was under arrest and instructed him to put his hands behind his back. Brown attempted to flee. Officers pursued him on foot, seized and handcuffed him, then recovered a firearm that had fallen from Brown’s pants leg. Officers searched the vehicle and recovered bags containing 3.59 grams of cocaine. Brown pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). A PSR gave Brown three criminal history points for a 2008 state conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and added two points under USSG 4A1.1(d) because Brown committed the instant offense while “under a criminal justice sentence.” Brown was sentenced to 10 years’ incarceration for the 2008 conviction, with eight years and nine months suspended, conditioned on good behavior for 10 years upon release. The PSR calculated a guidelines range of 57-71 months. The Fourth Circuit affirmed a 60-month sentence, agreeing that a period of good behavior qualifies as being under a criminal justice sentence. Although Brown wasn’t under active supervision, he was subject to the authority of the state court, which could revoke the suspended sentence if Brown violated the condition.