State v. Lopez, 2 CA-CR 2003-0322.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Arizona
Citation209 Ariz. 58,97 P.3d 883
Docket NumberNo. 2 CA-CR 2003-0322.,2 CA-CR 2003-0322.
PartiesThe STATE of Arizona, Appellee, v. Oscar Manuel LOPEZ, Appellant.
Decision Date15 September 2004

97 P.3d 883
209 Ariz. 58

The STATE of Arizona, Appellee,
v.
Oscar Manuel LOPEZ, Appellant

No. -0322.

Court of Appeals of Arizona, Division 2, Department A.

September 15, 2004.


97 P.3d 884
Terry Goddard, Arizona Attorney General, By Randall M. Howe and Alan L. Amann, Tucson, for Appellee

Isabel G. Garcia, Pima County Legal Defender, By Stephan J. McCaffery, Tucson, for Appellant.

OPINION

BRAMMER, J.

¶ 1 A jury found appellant Oscar Manuel Lopez guilty of misconduct involving weapons by possessing a deadly weapon when prohibited from doing so. The trial court sentenced him to the presumptive, 4.5-year prison term. On appeal, Lopez maintains the trial court erroneously refused to require the state to accept his stipulation to his prohibited possessor status and that it abused its discretion by refusing his proffered jury instruction on "passing control." We affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background

¶ 2 We view the facts in the light most favorable to sustaining the jury's verdict and resolve all reasonable inferences against Lopez. See State v. Riley, 196 Ariz. 40, 992 P.2d 1135 (App.1999). In August 2002, off-duty border patrol agent Charles Sachs was sitting in a parked car when he heard gunshots and saw a muzzle flash coming from the driver's side of the red sports utility vehicle (SUV) that Lopez was driving. Two other police officers who had been parked nearby also heard gunshots. Another Tucson police officer, Guy Cox, saw Lopez drive through a red light and pulled him over. Cox approached the passenger side of the SUV and noticed a handgun between the driver's seat Lopez occupied and the center console. In a later interview, Lopez admitted that he had been convicted of a felony and had not had his right to possess a firearm restored.

¶ 3 The state charged Lopez with misconduct involving weapons by prohibited possession of a deadly weapon and unlawful discharge of a firearm. The jury found him guilty of the former charge but acquitted him of the latter. This appeal followed.

Rejected Stipulation

¶ 4 Lopez first maintains that the trial court abused its discretion by allowing the state to reject his proffered pre-trial stipulation that he was a prohibited possessor. The state argued that his status as a prohibited possessor was an element of the offense the state was required to prove. The trial court stated that, although entering the stipulation would be "judicially economical," the court had "no authority to require the State to [agree to the stipulation]." The state and Lopez later stipulated that Lopez previously had been convicted of a felony, and that stipulation was read to the jury.

¶ 5 Lopez now contends the trial court abused its discretion by not compelling the state to accept his first stipulation that he was a prohibited possessor, and by failing to recognize that it had discretion to do so. He relies primarily on State v. Leonard, 151

97 P.3d 885
Ariz. 1, 8, 725 P.2d 493, 500 (App.1986), in which Division One of this court found harmless error in the trial court's rejection of stipulations the defendant had offered that would have admitted prior convictions for driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), holding that "the state is not required to accept a stipulation when the prejudicial potential of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the state's legitimate need to prove the facts to which the defendant offers to stipulate." Because the prior convictions were not elements of the charged offense, the trial court had concluded that making their existence known to the jury was prejudicial to the defendant. The court found this error harmless, however, in light of the other substantial evidence of the defendant's guilt

¶ 6 In State ex rel. Romley v. Galati, 195 Ariz. 9, 985 P.2d 494 (1999), the defendant had been charged with aggravated DUI, among the elements of which is that the defendant twice previously had been convicted of DUI. A.R.S. § 28-1383. The defendant had offered to stipulate to the two prior convictions, provided the jury would not hear about them. The state refused on the ground that the court could not preclude the jury from hearing evidence on those elements. The supreme court held that, "because the prior convictions to which the defendant[] agreed to stipulate constitute elements of the charged...

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31 cases
  • State v. Brown
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • June 22, 2005
    ...accord with prior Arizona cases on the effect of stipulations and the requirement that they be presented to the jury. See, e.g., State v. Lopez, 209 Ariz. 58, ¶ 7, 97 P.3d 883, 885 (App.2004); State v. Newnom, 208 Ariz. 507, ¶ 5, 95 P.3d 950, 951 (App.2004); Virgo, Ariz. at 353-54, 947 P.2d......
  • State v. Moran
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • July 29, 2015
    ...on abandonment of property.4 We review a trial court's refusal to give jury instructions for an abuse of discretion. State v. Lopez, 209 Ariz. 58, ¶ 10, 97 P.3d 883, 885 (App. 2004).Page 8¶16 Moran requested jury instructions mirroring the text of A.R.S. § 27-203.5 That statute, which in pa......
  • State v. Coghill
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • November 1, 2007
    ...has previously failed to find reversible error when a trial court refused to force the state to accept an offered stipulation. See State v. Lopez, 209 Ariz. 58, ¶¶ 4-9, 97 P.3d 883, 884-85 (App.2004). In Lopez, we held the trial court had not erred when it refused to compel the state to acc......
  • State v. Smith
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • March 12, 2014
    ...of the right to be an element." Id. (citing State v. Hudson, 152 Ariz. 121, 127, 730 P.2d 830, 836 (1986), and State v. Lopez, 209 Ariz. 58, ¶ 8, 97 P.3d 883, 885 (App. 2004)). But, we also noted that these statements "were not holdings but dicta, and are therefore not binding authority." I......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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