Opinion No. 21 Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Melissa Moody, District
denying motion to dismiss, reversed and case
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Brian R.
Dickson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney,
Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
GRATTON, Chief Judge
Gomez appeals from the district court's order denying his
motion to dismiss. We reverse the order and remand the case
for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
pled guilty to felony grand theft, Idaho Code §§
18-2403(1), 18-2407(1)(b). The district court withheld
judgment and placed Gomez on probation for five years. One of
the terms of Gomez's probation was that he "shall be
a law-abiding citizen and shall commit no misdemeanors or
the probationary period, Gomez pled guilty to misdemeanor
disturbing the peace, I.C. § 18-6409, in another county.
The prosecutor was not advised of the disturbing the peace
conviction and, therefore, did not file a probation violation
charge in the present case. After the probationary period
expired, Gomez filed a motion to dismiss the withheld
judgment, pursuant to I.C. § 19-2604(1), stating:
"The probationary period has expired, and the terms and
conditions of probation imposed by the Court have been
fulfilled." The State objected, pointing out Gomez's
misdemeanor conviction. The district court denied Gomez's
motion to dismiss "[f]or the reasons set forth in the
State's objection." Gomez timely appeals.
asserts the district court did not properly apply the plain
language of I.C. § 19-2604(1). This Court exercises free
review over the application and construction of statutes.
State v. Reyes, 139 Idaho 502, 505, 80 P.3d 1103,
1106 (Ct. App. 2003). Where the language of a statute is
plain and unambiguous, this Court must give effect to the
statute as written, without engaging in statutory
construction. State v. Burnight, 132 Idaho 654, 659,
978 P.2d 214, 219 (1999); State v. Escobar, 134
Idaho 387, 389, 3 P.3d 65, 67 (Ct. App. 2000). The language
of the statute is to be given its plain, obvious, and
rational meaning. Burnight, 132 Idaho at 659, 978
P.2d at 219. If the language is clear and unambiguous, there
is no occasion for the court to resort to legislative history
or rules of statutory interpretation. Escobar, 134
Idaho at 389, 3 P.3d at 67. When this Court must engage in
statutory construction because an ambiguity exists, it has
the duty to ascertain the legislative intent and give effect
to that intent. State v. Beard, 135 Idaho 641, 646,
22 P.3d 116, 121 (Ct. App. 2001). To ascertain such intent,
not only must the literal words of the statute be examined,
but also the context of those words, the public policy behind
the statute, and its legislative history. Id. It is
incumbent upon a court to give an ambiguous statute an
interpretation which will not render it a nullity.
Id. Constructions of an ambiguous statute that would
lead to an absurd result ...