January 10, 2012; withdrawn and opinion filed April 11, 2012
Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Deborah A. Bail, District Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: W. Jones, Justice
The decision of the district court is reversed.
This case considers whether retroactive application of an amendment to I.C. § 19-2604(3) ("the amendment"), which prohibits dismissal of offenses requiring sex offender registration, violates the ex post facto clauses of the United States Constitution and the Idaho Constitution ("the ex post facto clauses"). Because this Court has previously addressed this issue in State v.
Hardwick, 150 Idaho 580, 249 P.3d 379 (2011), the district court erred in holding that retroactive application of the amendment violated the ex post facto clauses.
II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On January 13, 2003, Lonnie Forbes pleaded guilty to the crime of Attempted Lewd Conduct with a Minor Child Under Sixteen Years of Age, a felony in violation of I.C. § 18-1508
The district court withheld judgment on March 31, 2003, and placed Forbes on probation for a period of seven years. As a result of his plea, Forbes is required to register as a sex offender under I.C. § 18-8304(1)(a).
When Forbes committed the crime, I.C. § 19-2604(1) permitted Forbes to request that he be allowed to withdraw his plea of guilty and to have the case dismissed.*fn1 The district court was afforded the discretion to grant Forbes's request so long as it determined that "at all times [Forbes] complied with the terms and conditions upon which he was placed on probation." I.C. § 19-2604(1). The district court was also required to determine that "there [was] no longer cause for continuing the period of probation" and doing so was "compatible with the public interest."
On July 1, 2006, I.C. § 19-2604(3) was amended to provide that "[a] judgment of conviction for a violation of any offense requiring sex offender registration as set forth in section 18-8304, Idaho Code, shall not be subject to dismissal or reduction under this section." Ch. 157, § 1, 2006 Idaho Sess. Laws 473, 473. According to the amendment, a conviction means that "the person has pled guilty or has been found guilty, notwithstanding the form of the judgment or withheld judgment." Id.
On July 21, 2007, Forbes's probation was amended to unsupervised probation, with all other terms and conditions of probation remaining in effect. On April 21, 2010, after Forbes completed all the requirements of his withheld judgment, he moved to set aside his plea of guilty, pursuant to the withheld judgment, in order to have the charge dismissed and to restore his civil rights under I.C. § 19-2604(1). The State opposed Forbes's Motion to ...