Colegrove v. State, 112118 AKCA, A-12625

Docket Nº:A-12625, A-12626
Opinion Judge:ALLARD JUDGE.
Party Name:BURT COLEGROVE IV, Appellant, v. STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee.
Attorney:Katrina R. Larsen, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Appellant. Stephen R. West, District Attorney, Ketchikan, and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.
Judge Panel:Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Suddock, Superior Court Judge.
Case Date:November 21, 2018
Court:Court of Appeals of Alaska
 
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BURT COLEGROVE IV, Appellant,

v.

STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee.

Nos. A-12625, A-12626

Court of Appeals of Alaska

November 21, 2018

UNPUBLISHED See Alaska Appellate Rule 214(d)

Appeal from the District Court Nos. 1PW-16-21 CR, 1PW-16-23 CR, First Judicial District, Prince of Wales, Kay M. Clark, Magistrate Judge.

Katrina R. Larsen, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for the Appellant.

Stephen R. West, District Attorney, Ketchikan, and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Suddock, Superior Court Judge. [*]

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ALLARD JUDGE.

Burt Colegrove IV pleaded no contest to two counts of violating his conditions of bail release after he failed to appear for two sobriety checks and failed a breath test. At his sentencing in May 2016, Colegrove's defense attorney asked the judge to consider the fact that the legislature had recently passed bills reducing the maximum penalty for this offense from a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment to a violation punishable only by a fine of up to $1000.1 Without addressing this pending legislation, the judge sentenced Colegrove to 7 months' imprisonment on each count, to run concurrently. The legislation reducing the penalty for Colegrove's offenses took effect two months later, in July 2016, after the governor signed it.2

In this sentence appeal, Colegrove asks us to remand his case to the district court and to direct the court to reconsider his sentence in light of the changed law. For the reasons explained here, we agree with Colegrove that a remand is required in this case.

Why we remand for reconsideration of Colegrove's sentence

Colegrove argues that the sentencing judge should have considered the impending legislative reduction of his offense to a minor offense subject to a fine only, and that the judge should have imposed "a significantly lower" sentence.

Colegrove's argument that the judge should have considered the impending change of law is supported by Alaska case law. For example...

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