Sunday, November 17, 2013

United States v. Oviedo case brief

United States v. Oviedo case brief summary
525 F.2d 881 (1976)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant sought review of an order from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, which convicted him of attempted distribution of a drug, in violation of 21 U.S.C.S. § 846.

CASE FACTS
Defendant was contacted by an undercover agent and arranged to sell the agent one pound of a drug. During the sale, the agent tested the drug, and upon a positive result, arrested defendant. Subsequent to the arrest, a search warrant was issued for defendant's residence, where two pounds of a similar substance was found hidden in a television set. A chemical analysis revealed the substances were not in fact the drug, but procaine hydrochloride, an uncontrolled substance. Defendant was charged with an attempt to distribute the drug. At trial, defendant stated that he knew the substance was not the drug, and that he was merely attempting to rip off the agent. Defendant was convicted and challenged the conviction.

DISCUSSION
The court reversed and held that defendant's objective acts were consistent with a noncriminal enterprise, and that the jury erred in determining that defendant's intent was sufficient to form the sole basis of a criminal offense.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed defendant's conviction because the jury erred in determining that defendant's intent was sufficient to form the sole basis of a criminal offense, and defendant's objective acts were consistent with a noncriminal enterprise.


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