Russell Abrutyn

Abrutyn Law PLLC

3765 12 Mile Road

Berkley, MI 48072

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TN misdemeanor domestic violence not a "crime of violence"

USA v. Castleman, No. 10-5912 (6th Cir. Sept. 19, 2012) (published)

The court denied the government's appeal from a decision dismissing an indictment for possessing a firearm after a conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.  Noting the similarities between 16(a), 924(e)(2)(B)(i), and 921(a)(33)(A), the court used the same framework to determine whether the Tennessee conviction has as an element the use or attempted use of physical force. 

Applying the categorical approach, the court concluded that the state statute did not categorically require the use of violent force, in that the bodily injury that results could be as minor as a cut, abrasion, or bruise.  Applying the modified categorical approach, the court did not find any evidence in the record of conviction to indicate that violent physical force was used.

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