2009 FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES MANUAL
CHAPTER 2 - PART H - OFFENSES INVOLVING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
1. CIVIL RIGHTS
Historical Note: Introductory Commentary to Part H, Subpart 1, effective November 1, 1987, was deleted effective November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 521).
§2H1.1. Offenses Involving Individual Rights
(a) Base Offense Level (Apply the Greatest):
(1) the offense level from the offense guideline applicable to any underlying offense;
(2) 12, if the offense involved two or more participants;
(3) 10, if the offense involved (A) the use or threat of force against a person; or (B) property damage or the threat of property damage; or
(4) 6, otherwise.
(b) Specific Offense Characteristic
(1) If (A) the defendant was a public official at the time of the offense; or (B) the offense was committed under color of law, increase by 6 levels.
Statutory Provisions: 18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242, 245(b), 246, 247, 248, 1091; 42 U.S.C. § 3631.
1. "Offense guideline applicable to any underlying offense" means the offense guideline applicable to any conduct established by the offense of conviction that constitutes an offense under federal, state, or local law (other than an offense that is itself covered under Chapter Two, Part H, Subpart 1).
In certain cases, conduct set forth in the count of conviction may constitute more than one underlying offense (e.g., two instances of assault, or one instance of assault and one instance of arson). In such cases, use the following comparative procedure to determine the applicable base offense level: (i) determine the underlying offenses encompassed within the count of conviction as if the defendant had been charged with a conspiracy to commit multiple offenses. See Application Note 4 of §1B1.2 (Applicable Guidelines); (ii) determine the Chapter Two offense level (i.e., the base offense level, specific offense characteristics, cross references, and special instructions) for each such underlying offense; and (iii) compare each of the Chapter Two offense levels determined above with the alternative base offense level under subsection (a)(2), (3), or (4). The determination of the applicable alternative base offense level is to be based on the entire conduct underlying the count of conviction (i.e., the conduct taken as a whole). Use the alternative base offense level only if it is greater than each of the Chapter Two offense levels determined above. Otherwise, use the Chapter Two offense levels for each of the underlying offenses (with each underlying offense treated as if contained in a separate count of conviction). Then apply subsection (b) to the alternative base offense level, or to the Chapter Two offense levels for each of the underlying offenses, as appropriate.
2. "Participant" is defined in the Commentary to §3B1.1 (Aggravating Role).
3. The burning or defacement of a religious symbol with an intent to intimidate shall be deemed to involve the threat of force against a person for the purposes of subsection (a)(3)(A).
4. If the finder of fact at trial or, in the case of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the court at sentencing determines beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected any victim or any property as the object of the offense because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person, an additional 3-level enhancement from §3A1.1(a) will apply. An adjustment from §3A1.1(a) will not apply, however, if a 6-level adjustment from §2H1.1(b) applies. See §3A1.1(c).
5. If subsection (b)(1) applies, do not apply §3B1.3 (Abuse of Position of Trust or Use of Special Skill).
Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 303); November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendments 313 and 327); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 430); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 521); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendment 591).