Criminal Law

General Application Principles

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§1B1.4GUIDELINES MANUALNovember 1, 2005

the top of the guideline range and may provide a reason for an upward departure. Some policy statements do, however, express a Commission policy that certain factors should not be considered for any purpose, or should be considered only for limited purposes. See, e.g., Chapter Five, Part H (Specific Offender Characteristics).

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 4); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 303); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendment 604 ); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 674) .

§1B1.5. Interpretation of References to Other Offense Guidelines

(a) A cross reference (an instruction to apply another offense guideline) refers to the entire offense guideline (i.e., the base offense level, specific offense characteristics, cross references, and special instructions).

(b) (1) An instruction to use the offense level from another offense guideline refers to the offense level from the entire offense guideline (i.e., the base offense level, specific offense characteristics, cross references, and special instructions), except as provided in subdivision (2) below.

(2) An instruction to use a particular subsection or table from another offense guideline refers only to the particular subsection or table referenced, and not to the entire offense guideline.

(c) If the offense level is determined by a reference to another guideline under subsection (a) or (b)(1) above, the adjustments in Chapter Three (Adjustments)

also are determined in respect to the referenced offense guideline, except as otherwise expressly provided.

(d) A reference to another guideline under subsection (a) or (b)(1) above may direct that it be applied only if it results in the greater offense level. In such case, the greater offense level means the greater Chapter Two offense level, except as otherwise expressly provided.

Commentary

Application Notes:

1. References to other offense guidelines are most frequently designated "Cross References," but may also appear in the portion of the guideline entitled "Base Offense Level" (e.g., §2D1.2(a)(1) and (2)), or "Specific Offense Characteristics" (e.g., §2A4.1(b)(7)). These references may be to a specific guideline, or may be more general (e.g., to the guideline for the "underlying offense"). Such references incorporate the specific offense characteristics, cross references, and special instructions as well as the base offense level. For example, if the guideline reads "2 plus the offense level from §2A2.2 (Aggravated Assault)," the user would determine the offense level from §2A2.2, including any applicable adjustments for planning, weapon use, degree of injury and motive, and then increase by 2 levels.

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