The 4th Circuit affirmed a sentence imposed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in a case in which the defendant entered a guilty plea to "knowingly driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, third offense within ten years" and to "driving a motor vehicle on a highway while [his] operator's license was suspended and/or revoked," in violation of Virginia statutes which were assimilated into federal law by the Assimilative Crimes Act. The district court sentenced the defendant to 27 months imprisonment, based on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant's extensive history of alcohol abuse. The defendant appealed his sentence, contending that it was unreasonable because (1) the district court refused to consider adequately the sentence recommended by Virginia's sentencing guidelines and (2) the sentence was, in any event, "far too long." The appeals court affirmed the sentence, stating that the district court's sentence was neither procedurally erroneous nor substantively unreasonable, as those standards are articulated in Gall v. United States (2007), and therefore the court did not need to proceed to the secondary question of whether the sentence was "plainly unreasonable."
United States v. Finley
July 2, 2008