Russell Abrutyn

Abrutyn Law PLLC

3765 12 Mile Road

Berkley, MI 48072

Friday, June 1, 2012

6th Circuit on record of conviction

USA v. Louchart, No. 10-1416 (6th Cir. May 25, 2012) (published)

The narrow question in this case was whether the defendant's guilty plea can be treated as an admission to the quantity of firearms stated in an indictment for purposes of calculating the sentencing range.  The court answered "no." 

This is important in the immigration context.  The court stated "admission of facts from a guilty plea is limited to elements of the crime charged or those explicitly admitted by the defendant." A guilty plea does not constitute admission of facts included in an indictment when those facts were not necessary to sustain a conviction.  Loosely stated, it does not matter so much what the defendant was accused of doing or admitted to doing; what is important is what the government had to prove to obtain a conviction.  A guilty plea is not an admission to non-essential facts in the indictment that did not constitute an element of the crime charged and were not specifically admitted by the defendant.

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