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State of Idaho v. Jason A. Hotchkiss


May 7, 2013


Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Elmore County. Hon. R. Barry Wood, District Judge.

Per curiam.

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 486

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk


Order revoking probation and requiring execution of unified ten-year sentence, with four-year determinate term, and consecutive ten-year sentence, with five-year determinate term, for two counts of grand theft, affirmed.

Before GUTIERREZ, Chief Judge; LANSING, Judge; and MELANSON, Judge

Jason A. Hotchkiss pled guilty to two counts of grand theft. I.C. § 18-2403(1). The district court imposed a unified ten-year sentence, with four-year determinate term, and consecutive ten-year sentence, with five-year determinate term. The district court retained jurisdiction and thereafter suspended the sentence and placed Hotchkiss on probation. Subsequently, Hotchkiss admitted to violating several terms of the probation, and the district court consequently revoked probation and ordered execution of the original sentences. Hotchkiss appeals, contending that the district court abused its discretion in revoking probation and that the district court should have sua sponte reduced the sentences upon the revocation of probation.

A. Denial of Motion to Augment Record

Hotchkiss asks this Court to hold that the Idaho Supreme Court deprived him of due process when it denied his motion to augment the record. We do not, however, have the authority to review and, in effect, reverse an Idaho Supreme Court decision on a motion made prior to assignment of the case to this Court on the ground that the Supreme Court decision was contrary to the state or federal constitutions or other law. See State v. Morgan, 153 Idaho 618, 620, 288 P.3d 835, 837 (Ct. App. 2012). Such an undertaking would be tantamount to the Court of Appeals entertaining an appeal from an Idaho Supreme Court decision and is plainly beyond the purview of this Court. Id. If a motion is renewed by the movant and new information or a new or expanded basis for the motion is presented to this Court that was not presented to the Supreme Court, we deem it within the authority of this Court to evaluate and rule on the renewed motion in the exercise of our responsibility to address all aspects of an appeal from the time of assignment to this Court. Id. Such may occur if the appellant's or respondent's briefs have refined, clarified, or expanded issues on appeal in such a way as to demonstrate the need for additional records or transcripts, or where new evidence is presented to support a renewed motion. Id.

Hotchkiss has not filed with this Court a renewed motion to augment the record or presented to this Court in his briefing any significant new facts or a new justification for augmentation beyond that already advanced in his motion to the Supreme Court. Hotchkiss had an opportunity to present his constitutional arguments to the Supreme Court and that Court denied his motion. In essence, Hotchkiss asks us to determine that the Idaho Supreme Court violated constitutional law by denying his motion. As this is beyond the scope of our authority, we will not address the issue further.

B. Probation Revocation and Sentence Review

It is within the trial court's discretion to revoke probation if any of the terms and conditions of the probation have been violated. I.C. §§ 19-2603, 20-222; State v. Beckett, 122 Idaho 324, 325, 834 P.2d 326, 327 (Ct. App. 1992); State v. Adams, 115 Idaho 1053, 1054, 772 P.2d 260, 261 (Ct. App. 1989); State v. Hass, 114 Idaho 554, 558, 758 P.2d 713, 717 (Ct. App. 1988). In determining whether to revoke probation a court must examine whether the probation is achieving the goal of rehabilitation and consistent with the protection of society. State v. Upton, 127 Idaho 274, 275, 899 P.2d 984, 985 (Ct. App. 1995); Beckett, 122 Idaho at 325, 834 P.2d at 327; Hass, 114 Idaho at 558, 758 P.2d at 717. The court may, after a probation violation has been established, order that the suspended sentence be executed or, in the alternative, the court is authorized under Idaho Criminal Rule 35 to reduce the sentence. Beckett, 122 Idaho at 325, 834 P.2d at 327; State v. Marks, 116 Idaho 976, 977, 783 P.2d 315, 316 (Ct. App. 1989). The court may also order a period of retained jurisdiction. State v. Urrabazo, 150 Idaho 158, 162, 244 P.3d 1244, 1248 (2010). A decision to revoke probation will be disturbed on appeal only upon a showing that the trial court abused its discretion. Beckett, 122 Idaho at 325, 834 P.2d at 327. In reviewing the propriety of a probation revocation, the focus of the inquiry is the conduct underlying the trial court's decision to revoke probation. State v. Morgan, 153 Idaho 618, 621, 288 P.3d 835, 838 (Ct. App. 2012). Thus, this Court will consider the elements of the record before the trial court relevant to the revocation of probation issues which are properly made part of the record on appeal. Id.

Sentencing is also a matter for the trial court's discretion. Both our standard of review and the factors to be considered in evaluating the reasonableness of a sentence are well established and need not be repeated here. See State v. Hernandez, 121 Idaho 114, 117-18, 822 P.2d 1011, 1014-15 (Ct. App. 1991); State v. Lopez, 106 Idaho 447, 449-51, 680 P.2d 869, 871- 73 (Ct. App. 1984); State v. Toohill, 103 Idaho 565, 568, 650 P.2d 707, 710 (Ct. App. 1982). When reviewing the length of a sentence, we consider the defendant's entire sentence. State v. Oliver, 144 Idaho 722, 726, 170 P.3d 387, 391 (2007).

When we review a sentence that is ordered into execution following a period of probation, we will examine the entire record encompassing events before and after the original judgment. State v. Hanington, 148 Idaho 26, 29, 218 P.3d 5, 8 (Ct. App. 2009). We base our review upon the facts existing when the sentence was imposed as well as events occurring between the original sentencing and the revocation of probation. Id.

We conclude we have no authority to address the Idaho Supreme Court's denial of Hotchkiss's motion to augment the record. We further conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion either in revoking probation or in ordering execution of Hotchkiss's original sentences without modification. Therefore, the order revoking probation and directing execution of Hotchkiss's previously suspended sentences is affirmed.


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