Monday, June 28, 2010

Couple of criminal history wins

Michelle Davis won in State v. Sanchez, No. 100,993 (Kan. App. June 25, 2010)(unpublished), obtaining a new sentencing hearing in a Sedgwick County criminal threat prosecution. The case involved classification of some California prior convictions:
In California, an offense which provides a range of punishments resulting in either a felony or misdemeanor classification is referred to as a "wobbler" offense. A wobbler is deemed a felony unless charges as a misdemeanor by the State or reduced to a misdemeanor by the sentencing court.
Mr. Sanchez had pleaded guilty to two wobbler offenses and that, after completing probation, the California sentencing court had reduced the offenses to misdemeanors. The COA reviewed California law and agreed that California would treat the offenses as misdemeanors. Because the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines explicitly rely on the other state's law when making the felony/misdemeanor classification, the COA held that the district court improperly classified the California convictions as felonies.

Christina Waugh also won in State v. Sallabedra, No. 102,038 (Kan. App. June 25, 2010)(unpublished), obtaining a new sentencing hearing in a Reno County possession of marijuana prosecution. This was primarily a Youngblood/Long issue (blogged about here and here) and the result was the same--because Mr. Sallabedra did not have or validly waive counsel in the prior convictions, they could not be used to enhance his current sentence.

Keep looking carefully at those criminal history worksheets, especially where there are juvenile, municipal misdemeanors, and out-of-state convictions!

[Update: the state did not file a PR in Sanchez and the mandate issued on August 2, 2010.]

[Update: Mr. Sallabedra filed a PR from the part of the case he lost on July 26, 2010.]

[Further update: the KSC denied Mr. Sallabedra's PR and the mandate issued on September 10, 2010.]

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