Criminal Law

Career Offenders and Criminal Livelihood - Criminal History

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§4B1.4GUIDELINES MANUALNovember 1, 2005

2. Section 4B1.1 (Career Offender) expressly provides that the instant and prior offenses must be crimes of violence or controlled substance offenses of which the defendant was convicted. Therefore, in determining whether an offense is a crime of violence or controlled substance for the purposes of §4B1.1 (Career Offender), the offense of conviction (i.e., the conduct of which the defendant was convicted) is the focus of inquiry.

3. The provisions of §4A1.2 (Definitions and Instructions for Computing Criminal History) are applicable to the counting of convictions under §4B1.1.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 49); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 268); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 433); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 461); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 528); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendments 546 and 568); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendment 600); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendments 642 and 646); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 674).

§4B1.3. Criminal Livelihood

If the defendant committed an offense as part of a pattern of criminal conduct engaged in as a livelihood, his offense level shall be not less than 13, unless §3E1.1 (Acceptance of Responsibility) applies, in which event his offense level shall be not less than 11.

Commentary

Application Notes:

1. "Pattern of criminal conduct" means planned criminal acts occurring over a substantial period of time. Such acts may involve a single course of conduct or independent offenses.

2. "Engaged in as a livelihood" means that (1) the defendant derived income from the pattern of criminal conduct that in any twelve-month period exceeded 2,000 times the then existing hourly minimum wage under federal law; and (2) the totality of circumstances shows that such criminal conduct was the defendant’s primary occupation in that twelve-month period (e.g., the defendant engaged in criminal conduct rather than regular, legitimate employment; or the defendant’s legitimate employment was merely a front for his criminal conduct).

Background: Section 4B1.3 implements 28 U.S.C. § 994(i)(2), which directs the Commission to ensure that the guidelines specify a "substantial term of imprisonment" for a defendant who committed an offense as part of a pattern of criminal conduct from which he derived a substantial portion of his income.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective June 15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 50); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 269); November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 354).

§4B1.4. Armed Career Criminal

(a) A defendant who is subject to an enhanced sentence under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) is an armed career criminal.

(b) The offense level for an armed career criminal is the greatest of:

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