current law US vs Simmons.
Federal Crime Lawyer
In Simmons, the Fourth Circuit changed how one decides if a prior conviction in NC was one in which the defendant could have received a sentence greater than one year. Under NC law, the maximum penalty is determined by the class of offense and the prior record of the defendant. If the defendant could not have received more than one year for an offense because of his prior record, it does not count as a felony conviction under federal law even if the maximum sentence is greater than one year. If you have a gun case based on NC convictions for which you could not have received a sentence greater than a year, you should consult with an attorney. It is not clear if Simmons will apply retroactively, but nothing will happen if you don't raise the issue.
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