ARMED CAREER CRIMINAL

In 1998, the Massachusetts State Legislature enacted General Laws otherwise known as the Armed Career Criminal Statute.

The Massachusetts Armed Career Criminal (“ACC”) Statute imposes enhanced penalties for defendants who have been previously convicted of a ‘violent crime’ or a ‘serious drug offense’.
ACC Level 1: A defendant indicted as an Armed Career Criminal Level I faces additional punishment in state prison of ‘not less than three (3) years nor more than fifteen (15) years.’

ACC Level 2: A defendant indicted as an Armed Career Criminal Level II faces additional punishment in state prison of ‘not less than ten (10) years nor more than fifteen (15) years.’

ACC Level 3: A defendant indicted as an Armed Career Criminal Level III faces additional punishment in state prison of ‘not less than fifteen (15) years nor more than twenty (20) years.’

Serious Drug Offense

The prior convictions that may serve as a predicate include “a serious drug offense” for which a defendant pled guilty in district court.  However, ‘serious drug offenses’ are  those that involve the manufacture, distribution or possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance and whose potential sentence is at least ten (10) years or more.

Violent Crime

For purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Statute, a “violent crime” is defined as any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one (1) year.

For a juvenile conviction to be used as a predicate offense for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal statute, the juvenile conviction must have been one involving the use or possession of a deadly weapon that:

-has as an element the use or threatened use of physical force or a deadly weapon against the person of another;

-are the crimes of  Burglary, Extortion, Arson or Kidnapping.

-involves the use of explosives.