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Two Sentences for Supervised Release Violations

A district court that revoked defendant’s supervised release for violation of certain conditions and imposed a 12-month sentence had continuing jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e) to impose a second 12-month prison sentence for violations of his supervised release that occurred after the first hearing; the 4th Circuit upholds defendant’s sentence.

At the first hearing, the district court found defendant guilty of certain “technical” violations of his supervised release on a drug conviction. The second hearing occurred after defendant was convicted in state court of cocaine distribution, a “substantive” violation of the supervised release conditions.

Defendant contends the district court lacked jurisdiction under § 3583(h) to conduct the second violation hearing and impose the additional 12-month sentence. He reasons that when the district court imposed the 12-month sentence at the earlier hearing, it effectively revoked his term of supervised release. He argues the act of revocation ends the period of supervision and the district court’s power to further adjudicate violations or impose additional prison time.

We find the district court had jurisdiction to hold the second violation hearing on Sept. 17, 2010, and to impose the 12-month sentence for supervised-release violations arising from defendant’s state convictions.

We assume without deciding that the district court effectively revoked defendant’s supervised release when it imposed the 12-month sentence at the earlier hearing. We hold the revocation of the term of supervised release did not end the court’s jurisdiction over defendant’s release. A revocation of a term of supervised release is not equivalent to a termination of the release, and thus the revoked term remains in effect.

We hold the district court’s jurisdiction over defendant’s release included the power to hold a second violation hearing and impose a 12-month sentence in light of several considerations. The language of § 3583(e)(3) does not limit the district court’s jurisdiction. A district court is within its authority to hold bifurcated violation hearings based on a petition filed before the supervised release’s expiration so long as it sentences the violator pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, makes a finding of guilty by a preponderance of the evidence and does not exceed the statutory maximum for re-incarceration. Here, the district court followed the § 3583(e)(3) revocation procedures in both hearings and imposed 12-month sentences that did not exceed the statutory maximum for defendant’s violations.

We affirm the district court judgment.

U.S. v. Winfield (Gregory) No. 10-5032, Jan. 17, 2012; USDC at Richmond, Va. VLW 012-2-013, 13 pp.

VLW 012-2-013

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