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United States v. Voisine, No. 12-1213 (1st Cir. 2015)

Justia Opinion Summary  Defendants were charged with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9). The indictments listed Defendants' previous convictions under Maine's misdemeanor assault statutes as the predicate offenses. Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing, inter alia, that their indictment and information did not charge a federal offense. The district court denied the motions. Defendants then entered guilty pleas conditioned on the right to appeal. The First Circuit consolidated the cases and affirmed, concluding that Defendants had indeed been convicted under state law of "misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence" as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(33)(A), even though the state statutes allowed convictions based on a recklessness mens rea. Thereafter, the Supreme Court directed the First Circuit to reconsider its decision in light of United States v. Castleman, in which the Supreme Court left open whether a conviction with the mens rea of recklessness could serve as a section 922(g)(9) predicate. The First Circuit affirmed the denial of the motion to dismiss the indictment and information, holding that a conviction for reckless assault against a person in a domestic relationship in Maine constitutes a federal "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence."

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