Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Lawyer

September 15, 2010

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DANIEL J. LAWYER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Second Judicial District, State of Idaho, Nez Perce County. Hon. Carl B. Kerrick, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gutierrez, Judge

2010 Opinion No. 64

Judgment of conviction and sentence for felony driving under the influence, affirmed.

Daniel J. Lawyer appeals from his judgment of conviction for felony driving under the influence (DUI). Specifically, he contends there was insufficient evidence to sustain the enhanced charge and that the court abused its discretion in imposing sentence. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Lawyer was charged with one count of driving under the influence, I.C. § 18-8004(1)(a), with a felony enhancement due to the allegation that he had previously been convicted of felony DUI within the preceding fifteen years, I.C. § 18-8005(7)*fn1 . The case proceeded to a bifurcated trial. First, a jury found Lawyer guilty of driving under the influence and in the second portion of the trial, found that he had a prior felony DUI conviction within the past fifteen years.

The court entered a judgment of conviction and sentenced Lawyer to a unified term of seven years with two years determinate. Lawyer now appeals.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Sufficiency of the Evidence

Lawyer contends that there was insufficient evidence presented to prove that he had previously been convicted of felony driving under the influence. Appellate review of the sufficiency of the evidence is limited in scope. A judgment of conviction, entered upon a jury verdict, will not be overturned on appeal where there is substantial evidence upon which a reasonable trier of fact could have found that the prosecution sustained its burden of proving the essential elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Herrera-Brito, 131 Idaho 383, 385, 957 P.2d 1099, 1101 (Ct. App. 1998); State v. Knutson, 121 Idaho 101, 104, 822 P.2d 998, 1001 (Ct. App. 1991). We will not substitute our view for that of the jury as to the credibility of the witnesses, the weight to be given to the testimony, and the reasonable inferences to be drawn from the evidence. Knutson, 121 Idaho at 104, 822 P.2d at 1001; State v. Decker, 108 Idaho 683, 684, 701 P.2d 303, 304 (Ct. App. 1985). Moreover, we will consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution. Herrera-Brito, 131 Idaho at 385, 957 P.2d at 1101; Knutson, 121 Idaho at 104, 822 P.2d at 1001.

The former conviction relied upon to invoke the persistent violator enhancement must be alleged in the indictment or information and proved at trial. State v. Medrain, 143 Idaho 329, 332, 144 P.3d 34, 37 (Ct. App. 2006); State v. Cheatham, 139 Idaho 413, 416, 80 P.3d 349, 352 (Ct. App. 2003); State v. Martinez, 102 Idaho 875, 880, 643 P.2d 555, 560 (Ct. App. 1982). Thus, the state is required to establish the identity of the defendant as the person formerly convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Medrain, 143 Idaho at 332, 144 P.3d at 37; Martinez, 102 Idaho at 880, 643 P.2d at 560. Where a defendant is not sufficiently identified as the same individual who was previously convicted, the judgment of conviction finding him or her to be a persistent violator must be vacated. State v. Polson, 92 Idaho 615, 622, 448 P.2d 229, 236 (1968).

The evidence presented by the state to establish that Lawyer had previously been convicted of felony DUI within fifteen years was a certified copy of a 2001 judgment of conviction with an attached criminal complaint, both bearing the name "Daniel J. Lawyer" with an accompanying birth date. The arresting officer testified this identifying data matched the data on the driver's license Lawyer presented to him after he was pulled over in the instant case. The state also relied upon the fact the current incident and the prior conviction occurred in the same county. Lawyer contends this is insufficient for a reasonable jury to find that the state had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the same person as that identified in the previous judgment of conviction.

In several instances, this Court has addressed the issue of the requisite proof required to identify the defendant as the same individual identified in the prior conviction. For instance, we held that a certified judgment of conviction accompanied by mug shots, fingerprint cards and testimony that those fingerprints were similar to the defendant's fingerprints constituted sufficient evidence to establish identity for purposes of the persistent violator enhancement. Martinez, 102 Idaho at 880, 643 P.2d at 560. On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, we held that a certified copy of a judgment of conviction bearing the same name as the defendant, with nothing more, was insufficient to establish the identity of the person formerly convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Medrain, 143 Idaho at 332, 144 P.3d at 37.

Beyond Martinez and Medrain, what type of evidence is sufficient to allow a reasonable trier of fact to identify a defendant beyond a reasonable doubt as having been the same party implicated by the prior conviction is a matter of first impression in Idaho. A review of cases from other jurisdictions*fn2 suggests that proof of personally identifying facts is required. Such evidence (often considered in conjunction with each other) includes fingerprints, United States v. Garner, 223 Fed. Appx. 792, 797 (10th Cir. 2007); State v. Murphy, 34 So. 3d 886, 889 (La. Ct. App. 2010); State v. Wabashaw, 740 N.W.2d 583, 593-94 (Neb. 2007); State v. Perry, 207 P.3d 1185, 1199 (N.M. Ct. App. 2009); a picture of the prior offender that could be compared to the defendant, United States v. Sanchez-Garcia, 461 F.3d 939, 947-48 (8th Cir. 2006); Johnson v. State, 936 So. 2d 672, 674 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2006); Parks v. State, 921 N.E.2d 826, 834 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010); State v. Callier, 909 So. 2d 23, 32-33 (La. Ct. App. 2005); testimony from law enforcement or court officials that the defendant was the subject of the prior conviction, People v. Skufca, 141 P.3d 876, 884 (Colo. Ct. App. 2005) (overruled on other grounds by People v. Skufca, 176 P.3d 83 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.