State v. Chamblis, No. 2012AP2782–CR.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtN. PATRICK CROOKS, J.
Citation864 N.W.2d 806,362 Wis.2d 370
Decision Date12 June 2015
Docket NumberNo. 2012AP2782–CR.
PartiesSTATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff–Appellant–Cross–Respondent, v. Andre M. CHAMBLIS, Defendant–Respondent–Cross–Appellant–Petitioner.

362 Wis.2d 370
864 N.W.2d 806

STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff–Appellant–Cross–Respondent
v.
Andre M. CHAMBLIS, Defendant–Respondent–Cross–Appellant–Petitioner.

No. 2012AP2782–CR.

Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Argued March 3, 2015.
Decided June 12, 2015.


864 N.W.2d 808

For the defendant-respondent-cross-appellant-petitioner, there were briefs by Steven W. Zaleski and Zaleski Law Firm, Madison, and oral argument by Steven W. Zaleski.

For the plaintiff-appellant-cross-respondent, the cause was argued by Michael C. Sanders, assistant attorney general, with whom on the brief was Brad D. Schimel, attorney general.

Opinion

N. PATRICK CROOKS, J.

362 Wis.2d 375

¶ 1 Andre Chamblis (Chamblis) pleaded guilty to operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC) as a sixth offense in violation of Wis. Stat. § 346.63(1)(b) (2011–12).1 Prior to accepting

864 N.W.2d 809

the plea, the circuit court2 informed Chamblis that the offense constituted a Class H felony which carried a minimum penalty of 6 months imprisonment and a $600 fine and a maximum penalty of 6 years imprisonment (three years confinement and three years extended supervision) and a $10,000 fine. Wis. Stat. §§ 346.65(2)(am)5., 939.50(3)(h)., 973.01(2)(b)8. The circuit court ultimately sentenced Chamblis to four years imprisonment comprised of two years confinement and two years extended supervision.

¶ 2 The State appealed the judgment of conviction. It argued that the circuit court erred by excluding additional evidence the State sought to submit to prove that Chamblis possessed a sixth prior drunk-driving related conviction. Had the circuit court admitted the

362 Wis.2d 376

evidence and found it sufficient to establish the alleged prior conviction, Chamblis would have faced the decision to plead guilty to the charge of operating with a PAC as a seventh offense. That offense constituted a Class G felony and would have subjected Chamblis to an increased range of punishment. Wis. Stat. § 346.65(2)(am)6. Specifically, the minimum penalty for a seventh offense was a term of imprisonment that included three years confinement and a period of extended supervision. Id. The maximum penalty was 10 years imprisonment (five years confinement and five years extended supervision) and a $25,000 fine. Wis. Stat. §§ 973.01(2)(b)7., 939.50(3)g.

¶ 3 The court of appeals agreed that the circuit court erred in excluding the additional evidence. It further determined that the evidence was sufficient to prove the alleged prior conviction. As a result, the court of appeals reversed the judgment of conviction and remanded the case to the circuit court with instructions to enter an amended judgment of conviction for operating with a PAC as a seventh offense and impose sentence for a seventh offense.3

¶ 4 This case presents two issues for our review. The first is whether the circuit court erred in excluding the additional evidence the State sought to submit to enhance Chamblis's punishment on the basis that the State offered the evidence “too late.” The second is whether the court of appeals' remedy violates Chamblis's right to due process by rendering his guilty plea unknowing, unintelligent, and involuntary.

362 Wis.2d 377

¶ 5 We assume, without deciding, that the circuit court erred in excluding the additional evidence the State sought to submit to enhance Chamblis's punishment.

¶ 6 Although we assume error, we hold that the court of appeals' decision remanding the case to the circuit court with instructions to enter an amended judgment of conviction for operating with a PAC as a seventh offense and impose sentence for a seventh offense violates Chamblis's right to due process. Chamblis entered a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary guilty plea to operating with a PAC as a sixth offense, not as a seventh offense. Because a seventh offense carries a greater range of punishment than does a sixth offense, the court of appeals' remedy renders Chamblis's plea unknowing, unintelligent, and involuntary. We further conclude that a remedy which requires Chamblis to withdraw his guilty plea is fundamentally unfair and thus violative of due process under the facts of this case.

¶ 7 Accordingly, we reverse the decision of the court of appeals and uphold Chamblis's conviction.

864 N.W.2d 810

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 8 On November 22, 2011, Chamblis was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant (OWI) in La Crosse. The criminal complaint, dated November 30, 2011, charged Chamblis with the following: (1) OWI as a fifth or sixth offense and as a repeater contrary to Wis. Stat. § 346.63(1)(a) ; (2) operating with a PAC as a fifth or sixth offense and as a repeater contrary to Wis. Stat. § 346.63(1)(b) ; and (3) obstructing an officer as a repeater

362 Wis.2d 378

contrary to Wis. Stat. § 946.41(1).4 The criminal complaint alleged that Chamblis possessed five prior drunk-driving related convictions from Minnesota for the purpose of penalty enhancement under Wis. Stat. § 346.65(2)(am).5

¶ 9 In January 2012, the circuit court granted the State's motion to amend the information6 to charge Chamblis with OWI as a seventh, eighth, or ninth offense and as a repeater, and operating with a PAC as a seventh, eighth, or ninth offense and as a repeater. The State claimed that Chamblis had two prior drunk-driving related convictions from Illinois in addition to the five from Minnesota and submitted documentation to that effect.

¶ 10 On August 6, 2012, Chamblis filed a motion challenging the purported Illinois convictions on two grounds that are relevant here. First, he argued that the two alleged convictions should be counted as one

362 Wis.2d 379

conviction because they stemmed from the same incident. Second, he contended that the State had offered insufficient documentation to prove the purported convictions.

¶ 11 The circuit court held a hearing on Chamblis's motion on September 12, 2012. The circuit court agreed that the two alleged Illinois convictions should be treated as one conviction. However, it determined that the State's proffered evidence of the purported conviction—an Illinois driver's abstract—was insufficient to establish that Chamblis had been convicted of a drunk-driving related offense in Illinois. In rendering its decision, the circuit court recognized that “we are not at sentencing” and “there could be further proof that comes up.” It informed the prosecutor that if “more evidence is supplied ... we will review it at that point in time....”

¶ 12 At the final pretrial hearing on September 14, 2012, the parties informed the circuit court that Chamblis wished to enter a guilty plea. Neither the parties nor the circuit court raised the issue of the disputed Illinois conviction. Because the State intended to request a presentence investigation report, the circuit court did not schedule a sentencing hearing to go along with the plea date.

864 N.W.2d 811

¶ 13 Chamblis's plea hearing took place on September 19, 2012. The parties advised the circuit court that Chamblis planned to enter a guilty plea to operating with a PAC as a fourth offense “or greater” without a repeater.7 Chamblis was willing to admit to the five prior convictions from Minnesota but continued to dispute the alleged conviction from Illinois.

362 Wis.2d 380

Accordingly, a question remained whether Chamblis would face the penalty range for operating with a PAC as a sixth offense or as a seventh offense upon conviction.

¶ 14 Recognizing the uncertainty regarding Chamblis's potential punishment, defense counsel stated on the record the minimum and maximum penalties for both offenses. Defense counsel then expressed his confusion with handling the plea in such a manner. This prompted the circuit court to inquire into the status of the alleged Illinois conviction. The prosecutor explained that he had obtained additional information from Illinois and that he planned to submit an offer of proof prior to sentencing. Defense counsel objected to the State offering the new evidence at that point in the proceedings.

¶ 15 The circuit court determined that the State was attempting to offer the additional evidence “too late.” It reasoned that Chamblis could not enter a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary guilty plea without understanding the precise minimum and maximum penalties associated with the plea. Determining that it was unfair to put off the plea date, the circuit court declared that discovery was “done.” It noted that the case had “been set for trial a long time”; that the issue concerning proof of the purported Illinois conviction “was flagged a long time ago”8 ; and that the issue prevented the parties from resolving the case “in a way that would have made more sense months...

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6 practice notes
  • Serv. Emps. Int'l Union v. Vos, No. 2019AP614-LV & 2019AP622
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 9, 2020
    ...rather than a jurisdictional prerequisite."), and it was not argued here, we will not apply it. State v. Chamblis, 2015 WI 53, ¶54 n.15, 362 Wis. 2d 370, 864 N.W.2d 806 ("We choose not to address that argument because it was not briefed by the parties."). We do not opine on whether the Gove......
  • State v. Finley, No. 2014AP2488–CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 12, 2016
    ...advise a defendant of a presumptive or mandatory minimum sentence. See State v. Chamblis, 2015 WI 53, ¶ 24, 362 Wis.2d 270 [370], 864 N.W.2d 806 (citing 882 N.W.2d 783 State v. Mohr, 201 Wis.2d 693, 700, 549 N.W.2d 497 (Ct.App.1996) ); see also State v. Thompson, 2012 WI 90, ¶ 51, 342 Wis.2......
  • State v. Zamzow, Case No.: 2014AP2603-CR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • April 6, 2017
    ...process is flexible and calls for such procedural protections as the particular situation demands." State v. Chamblis , 2015 WI 53, ¶54, 362 Wis.2d 370, 864 N.W.2d 806 (alteration omitted) (quoting Gilbert v. Homar , 520 U.S. 924, 930, 117 S.Ct. 1807, 138 L.Ed.2d 120 (1997) ). Here, Birkhol......
  • State v. Gutierrez, No. 2017AP2364-CR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • June 3, 2020
    ...proper legal standard, and, using a demonstrated rational process, reached a reasonable conclusion." State v. Chamblis, 2015 WI 53, ¶20, 362 Wis. 2d 370, 864 N.W.2d 806. ¶22 Here, the proper legal standard is the balancing test set forth in Wis. Stat. § 904.03 : "Although relevant, evidence......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Serv. Emps. Int'l Union v. Vos, No. 2019AP614-LV & 2019AP622
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 9, 2020
    ...rather than a jurisdictional prerequisite."), and it was not argued here, we will not apply it. State v. Chamblis, 2015 WI 53, ¶54 n.15, 362 Wis. 2d 370, 864 N.W.2d 806 ("We choose not to address that argument because it was not briefed by the parties."). We do not opine on whether the Gove......
  • State v. Finley, No. 2014AP2488–CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • July 12, 2016
    ...advise a defendant of a presumptive or mandatory minimum sentence. See State v. Chamblis, 2015 WI 53, ¶ 24, 362 Wis.2d 270 [370], 864 N.W.2d 806 (citing 882 N.W.2d 783 State v. Mohr, 201 Wis.2d 693, 700, 549 N.W.2d 497 (Ct.App.1996) ); see also State v. Thompson, 2012 WI 90, ¶ 51, 342 Wis.2......
  • State v. Zamzow, Case No.: 2014AP2603-CR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • April 6, 2017
    ...process is flexible and calls for such procedural protections as the particular situation demands." State v. Chamblis , 2015 WI 53, ¶54, 362 Wis.2d 370, 864 N.W.2d 806 (alteration omitted) (quoting Gilbert v. Homar , 520 U.S. 924, 930, 117 S.Ct. 1807, 138 L.Ed.2d 120 (1997) ). Here, Birkhol......
  • State v. Gutierrez, No. 2017AP2364-CR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • June 3, 2020
    ...proper legal standard, and, using a demonstrated rational process, reached a reasonable conclusion." State v. Chamblis, 2015 WI 53, ¶20, 362 Wis. 2d 370, 864 N.W.2d 806. ¶22 Here, the proper legal standard is the balancing test set forth in Wis. Stat. § 904.03 : "Although relevant, evidence......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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