Ardon Chinchilla was charged in a federal indictment with violating 18 U.S.C. §1546 by using a fraudulent Order of Supervision to obtain a driver’s license from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Section 1546 makes it a crime to knowingly use or attempt to use a forged or unlawfully obtained document prescribed by statute or regulation for entry into or as evidence of authorized stay or employment in the United States. An Order of Supervision is a document issued by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to aliens unlawfully present in the United States. It authorizes an unlawful alien to be released from custody into the community and to remain living in the United States for an indefinite period of time pending removal. An Order of Supervision may authorize the alien to seek employment in the United States. Florida accepts an Order of Supervision from applicants seeking to obtain a Florida driver’s license as proof of legal presence in the United States.
Chinchilla moved to dismiss the superseding indictment for failure to state an offense under §1546 arguing that the term “authorized stay” means lawful presence in the United States and that no federal statute or regulation expressly identifies an Order of Supervision as evidence of authorized stay in the United States. The district court agreed and dismissed the indictment.