Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States of Amercia v. Mugrage

filed*fn*: October 25, 1991.


Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona; D.C. No. CR-89-0383-EHC; Earl H. Carroll, District Judge, Presiding.

Sneed, Hug and Leavy, Circuit Judges.


Larry Dean Mugrage, II, appeals his sentence following entry of a guilty plea to unarmed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). Mugrage contends the district court erred by:

(1) improperly counting certain prior offenses when calculating his criminal history; (2) failing to comply with the requirements of Fed. R. Crim. P. 32; and (3) imposing a fine on him despite his indigency. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and we affirm in part and vacate and remand for resentencing.


Criminal History Calculations

Mugrage contends the district court improperly included numerous prior misdemeanor offenses when calculating his criminal history category. We review de novo the district court's determination that a prior conviction falls within the scope of the Guidelines, but we will not reverse the district court's determination of a factual matter unless it is clearly erroneous. United States v. Kemp, 938 F.2d 1020, 1022 (9th Cir. 1991).

The Guidelines provide that misdemeanor convictions count when calculating the defendant's criminal history category. U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2(c). "However, certain misdemeanor convictions are not counted unless (1) they are similar to the instant offense (the offense of conviction) or (2) resulted in more than one year's probation or thirty days' imprisonment." Kemp, 938 F.2d at 1022. Additionally, "[a] diversionary disposition resulting from a finding or admission of guilt . . . in a judicial proceeding is counted as a sentence under § 4A1.1(c) even if a conviction is not formally entered." U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2(f). Under Section 4A1.1(c), one point is added, up to a maximum of four points, for each prior sentence which is less than sixty days' imprisonment and which is not excluded under Section 4A1.2(c). U.S.S.G. § 4A1.1(c), comment. n. 3.

The presentence report (PSR) included seven prior misdemeanor offenses in its calculation of Mugrage's criminal history category. Each of these offenses counted as one point towards the maximum four points allowed under Section 4A1.1(c). Mugrage failed to object to the inclusion of two of these prior offenses in his criminal history calculation. Therefore, if even two of the five contested misdemeanor offenses were properly included in the criminal history calculation, the criminal history category and the applicable Guidelines range would remain the same and the erroneous inclusion of the remaining three offenses would not be significant.*fn1 See, e.g., United States v. Lopez-Cavasos, 915 F.2d 474, 476 (9th Cir. 1990) (no "plain error" even if an error was made in computing the criminal history score, where the applicable range would remain the same); United States v. Munster-Ramirez, 888 F.2d 1267, 1273 (9th Cir. 1989) (court should not rule on Guidelines dispute where resolution would not change the sentence), cert. denied, 110 S. Ct. 1951 (1990). Further, the district court was free to consider the non-countable prior offenses when determining where to set the sentence within the established Guideline range. See United States v. Mondello, 927 F.2d 1463, 1469 (9th Cir. 1991) (district court may consider without limitation any information concerning defendant's background, character, and conduct when determining sentence within Guidelines range).

One of the prior misdemeanor offenses was a diversionary sentence arising from a vandalism charge. Mugrage admitted below that he pleaded guilty to the charge. Section 4A1.2(f) clearly provides that a diversionary disposition resulting from admission of guilt in open court is to be counted, reflecting the policy that "defendants who receive the benefit of a rehabilitative sentence and continue to commit crimes should not be treated with further leniency." U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2, comment. n. 9. Therefore, this prior sentence was properly added into the criminal history calculation.

Another prior sentence added into the criminal history calculation resulted from a guilty plea to indecent exposure, for which Mugrage was sentenced to 30 days in jail and one year of probation. One term of Mugrage's probation required him to register as a sex offender as a result of the offense. The California Courts of Appeal later held that requiring defendants convicted of indecent exposure to register as sex offenders was cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eight Amendment and eliminated that requirement from a defendant's probation. In re King, 204 Cal. Rptr. 39, 41 (1984). Mugrage argues that the Guidelines prohibit inclusion of this sentence in the criminal history calculation because it contains an illegal probationary term. Nevertheless, although the California courts require modification of the terms of probation in this situation, the sentence is not set aside or invalidated. See id. The Guidelines permit increasing a defendant's criminal history score based on a prior sentence unless the underlying conviction is shown to be constitutionally invalid. United States v. Guthrie, 931 F.2d 564, 570 (9th Cir. 1991); U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2, comment. n. 6 (1990). Therefore, Mugrage's prior sentence may be counted under Section 4A1.1(c) because it has not been vacated or otherwise set aside under state law and is not based on a constitutionally invalid conviction. See Guthrie, 931 F.2d at 570; U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2, comment. n. 6.

The district court properly calculated Mugrage's criminal history category as V on the basis of at least four valid prior misdemeanor sentences. See U.S.S.G. §§ 4A1.1(c), 4A1.2, comment. n. 6, 9. We need not determine whether the remaining three contested prior offenses were improperly included in the criminal history calculation because the resulting Guidelines sentencing range would be the same regardless of the outcome of such analysis. See Lopez-Cavasos, 915 F.2d at 476; Munster-Ramirez, 888 F.2d at 1273.


Fed. R. Crim. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.