Skip to main content


Reset A A Font size: Print

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff−Appellee, v. Melissa Ann CASTILLO, Defendant−Appellant.

No. 18-11465

Decided: September 20, 2019

Before DAVIS, SMITH, and HIGGINSON, Circuit Judges. Anna Marie Bell, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas, Amarillo, TX, Leigha Amy Simonton, Damien Diggs, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas, Dallas, TX, for Plaintiff - Appellee Daniel Joseph Warrick, Lubbock, TX, for Defendant - Appellant

Melissa Castillo appeals the sentence imposed upon the revocation of her supervised release (“SR”) after her guilty-plea conviction of uttering and possessing counterfeit securities and aiding and abetting. She contends that the special condition of SR that requires her total abstinence from the use of alcohol is plainly unreasonable. As a preliminary matter, we decline the government’s suggestion that Castillo’s argument is not ripe for review, given that the abstinence condition that she challenges on appeal is patently mandatory and contains no discretionary language. See United States v. Magana, 837 F.3d 457, 459 (5th Cir. 2016).

We review Castillo’s challenge to the abstinence condition for plain error. See United States v. Peltier, 505 F.3d 389, 391-92 (5th Cir. 2007). Under plain-error review, Castillo must show a forfeited legal error that was “clear or obvious, rather than subject to reasonable dispute,” and that affected her substantial rights. See Puckett v. United States, 556 U.S. 129, 135, 129 S.Ct. 1423, 173 L.Ed.2d 266 (2009). If she does so, this court would have the discretion to correct the error if it seriously affected the integrity, fairness, or public reputation of judicial proceedings. Id.

The district court has wide discretion to impose any special condition of SR it considers appropriate. See United States v. Ferguson, 369 F.3d 847, 852 (5th Cir. 2004). Given Castillo’s documented substance abuse, whether the court erred in imposing the alcohol abstinence condition is subject to reasonable dispute. Accordingly, even if the court erred, any error is not clear or obvious. See Puckett, 556 U.S. at 135, 129 S.Ct. 1423.




PER CURIAM:* FN* Pursuant to 5th Cir. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5th Cir. R. 47.5.4.

Copied to clipboard