Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

United States v. Hayes

  • Slip Opinion: Issued on February 24, 2009.
  • Background: The defendant, Randy Hayes, was indicted for violating 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(9), which prohibits anyone convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from possessing a firearm. In 1994, Hayes had been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence in West Virginia, but he argued that this did not qualify as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under §922(g)(9). He argued that that §922(g)(9) requires a domestic relationship between the victim and the perpetrator, so the West Virginia indictment did not qualify because this was not an element under the West Virginia statute.
  • Holding: The Supreme Court held that, under the plain language of the statute, a domestic relationship is not a necessary element of a qualifying predicate offense. For this reason, the Court reversed and remanded with instructions to uphold the defendant’s conviction.



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