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Name: United States v. Hayes
Case #: 07-608
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 02/24/2009
Subsequent History: 129 S.Ct. 1079; 172 L.Ed.2d 816

The federal Gun Control Act prohibiting possession of a firearm by one convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the predicate offense involved a domestic relationship, but does not require that the domestic relationship be an element of the offense. In 1994, in West Virginia, appellant was convicted of battery. The indictment alleged the victim to be his then-wife, a person who had a child in common with Hayes and who co-habited with him as a spouse. In 2004, Hayes was found in possession of several firearms and was prosecuted under the Gun Control Act, the predicate offense being the generic 1994 battery. Applying rules of statutory construction and analyzing the intent of Congress, the Supreme Court in this case ruled that the predicate offense need not identify as an element of the crime a domestic relationship between the aggressor and the victim.