In Quarles v. United States, decided on June 10, 2019, a unanimous Supreme Court held that “remaining-in” burglary qualifies as a crime of violence for ACCA purposes even if the defendant does not form the intent to commit a crime in the building or structure until sometime after the unlawful remaining commences.
The petitioner contended that his Michigan conviction for “home invasion” did not constitute a predicate crime of violence under ACCA (18 USC § 924(e)). ACCA defines a crime of violence to include “burglary.” Under the Supreme Court’s 1990 decision in Taylor v. United States, 495 US 575, the generic statutory term “burglary” means any offense that involves the unlawful or unprivileged entry into, or remaining in, a building or structure with intent to commit a crime therein. The issue in Quarles was whether remaining-in burglary occurs only if a person has the intent to commit a crime at the time when she or he first unlawfully remains in a building or structure, or, more broadly, occurs when a person forms the intent to commit a crime at any time while unlawfully remaining.
The Court unanimously selected the broader definition in an opinion by Justice Kavanaugh. “Put simply,” the Court stated, “for burglary predicated on unlawful entry, the defendant must have the intent to commit a crime at the time of entry. For burglary predicated on unlawful remaining, the defendant must have the intent to commit a crime at the time of remaining, which is any time during which the defendant unlawfully remains.”
The Court found that this conclusion was supported by the ordinary understanding of burglary as of 1986, when ACCA was enacted. In addition, the Court found it unlikely that Congress decided to include burglary as a crime of violence but then exclude the burglary statutes of most states from the coverage of the law, especially since the risk of confrontation during a burglary does not depend on when a defendant formed the intent to commit a crime.
Since the Michigan offense of home invasion substantially corresponded to generic burglary, the conviction qualified as a crime of violence under § 924(e).
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