The Ninth Circuit has determined that a California conviction for battery resulting in serious bodily injury is a crime of violence under the federal sentencing guidelines. The court determined that the statute criminalizes an intentional use of physical force that results in serious bodily injury. “Because ‘serious bodily injury’ is defined as ‘a serious impairment of physical condition,’ we must [] conclude that a person cannot be convicted under § 243(d) ‘unless he willfully and unlawfully applies force sufficient to not just inflict a physical injury on the victim, but to inflict’ a severe physical injury.”

Given the similar definitions of a crime of violence in the federal sentencing and immigration contexts, this decision could have significant impact in immigration cases.

The full text of United States v. Perez can be found here: