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State v. Rocha

Court of Appeals of Idaho

October 2, 2014

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ALFREDO LOPEZ ROCHA, Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision is not final until exception of the 21 day petition for rehearing period. Pursuant to rule 118 of the Idaho Appellate Rules

As Corrected October 6, 2014.

Page 587

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 588

2014 Opinion No. 81

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Michael R. McLaughlin, District Judge; Hon. Theresa Gardunia, Magistrate.

District court decision affirming judgment of conviction for misdemeanor driving under the influence, affirmed.

Alan E. Trimming, Ada County Public Defender; Heidi M. Johnson, Deputy Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

LANSING, Judge. Judge GRATTON and Judge MELANSON CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 589

LANSING, Judge

Alfredo Lopez Rocha appeals from the district court's order on intermediate appeal affirming his judgment of conviction for misdemeanor driving under the influence. Rocha contends tat the trial evidence was insufficient to support a conviction and, alternatively, that there was prosecutorial misconduct that necessitates a new trial.

I.

BACKGROUND

In the early morning hours of September 1, 2012, a Meridian police officer came upon a vehicle parked on the shoulder of a road. The officer observed that Rocha, located in the driver's position, and his companion seated in the passenger seat, were both asleep. The engine was not running. The officer awakened the two and spoke to Rocha, who exhibited signs of intoxication. The officer had Rocha perform field sobriety tests, which he failed. Rocha was arrested and transported to the Meridian Police Department, where he was given administrative license suspension warnings and was asked to perform breath alcohol evidentiary testing. Rocha declined.

Rocha was subsequently charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence, Idaho Code § § 18-8004(1)(a), 18-8005(1). He was convicted after a jury trial. Rocha appealed to the district court, which affirmed the conviction. Rocha further appeals. He contends that the district court erred by rejecting his claims that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the guilty verdict, that the magistrate erred by admitting an administrative license suspension form over his relevance objection, and that the prosecution committed misconduct during closing argument.

II.

ANALYSIS

For an appeal from the district court, sitting in its appellate capacity over a case from the magistrate division, this Court does not review the decision of the magistrate. Rather, we are procedurally bound to affirm or dismiss the decisions of the district court. Sta ...


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