LEOCAL v. ASHCROFT

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
03-583
Petitioner 
Josue Leocal
Respondent 
John D. Ashcroft, Attorney General, et al.
Opinion 
Advocates
(argued the cause for Petitioner)
(argued the cause for Respondents)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

A Florida court convicted Vietnam citizen Duan Le for driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) charged in federal immigration court that Le should be deported. The INS argued Le committed a crime of violence that was an aggravated felony under federal immigration laws - a deportable crime. The immigration court and an appellate immigration court ruled Le could be deported. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

Question 

Is a conviction of driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury a "crime of violence" under federal immigration law that allows the person to be deported as an aggravated felon?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Leocal, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets, National Firearms, Organized Crime Control, Comprehensive Crime Control, or Gun Control Acts, except for RICO (q.v.) portion

No. In a unanimous decision delivered by Chief Justice William Rhenquist, the Court held that state DUI offenses, except when involving purposeful intent, are accidental and not crimes of violence under federal law. Le therefore did not commit an aggravated felony for which he could be deported.

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LEOCAL v. ASHCROFT. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 11 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_583>.
LEOCAL v. ASHCROFT, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_583 (last visited September 11, 2014).
"LEOCAL v. ASHCROFT," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 11, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_583.