State v. Miller

Citation4 P.3d 570,134 Idaho 458
Decision Date16 June 2000
Docket NumberNo. 25134.,25134.
PartiesSTATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. James Calvin MILLER, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtIdaho Court of Appeals

Clark & Feeney, Lewiston, for appellant. Scott D. Gallina argued.

Hon. Alan G. Lance, Attorney General; T. Paul Krueger, II, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. T. Paul Krueger, II, argued.

PERRY, Chief Judge.

James Calvin Miller appeals from his judgment of conviction for three counts of burglary. I.C. § 18-1401. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.


Miller was originally charged with six counts of burglary. On December 19, 1995, pursuant to a plea agreement with the state, Miller pled guilty to three counts of burglary, and the state dismissed the remaining charges. Miller failed to appear at his sentencing hearing due to his incarceration on other charges in the state of Washington. On February 8, 1996, Miller was found guilty in Washington of four counts of possession of stolen property. On March 11, Miller was found guilty in Washington of burglary in the second degree, making or having burglar tools, and theft in the third degree. Finally, on May 22, Miller was found guilty in Washington of assault in the third degree. When sentenced for each of those convictions, the Washington courts considered Miller's Idaho burglary offenses in fashioning Miller's sentences.

Eventually, Miller was transported back to Idaho to be sentenced. Miller requested appointment of new counsel, and the district court appointed the public defender. Miller then moved to withdraw his guilty pleas, alleging that at the time of his pleas he was not informed that his Idaho offenses could be used against him for sentencing purposes in his criminal cases in Washington. After a hearing on the matter, Miller's motion to withdraw his guilty pleas was denied. Subsequently, Miller moved for dismissal of the charges because he had not been timely sentenced in compliance with the interstate agreement on detainers (I.A.D.). The district court denied that motion. Miller was sentenced to concurrent unified seven-year sentences, with four years fixed, for each of the three counts of burglary. These sentences were ordered to run consecutive to the sentences in Miller's Washington cases. Miller appeals.

A. Motion to Withdraw Guilty Pleas

Miller argues that the district court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas was an abuse of discretion. The decision to grant a motion to withdraw a guilty plea lies in the discretion of the district court. State v. McFarland, 130 Idaho 358, 361, 941 P.2d 330, 333 (Ct.App.1997). Withdrawal of a guilty plea before sentence is imposed is not an automatic right, and the defendant has the burden of proving that the plea should be allowed to be withdrawn. State v. Dopp, 124 Idaho 481, 485, 861 P.2d 51, 55 (1993); McFarland, 130 Idaho at 362, 941 P.2d at 334. A defendant seeking to withdraw a guilty plea before sentencing must first show a just reason for withdrawing the plea. Dopp, 124 Idaho at 485, 861 P.2d at 55; McFarland, 130 Idaho at 362, 941 P.2d at 334. Once the defendant has met this burden, the state may avoid a withdrawal of the plea by demonstrating the existence of prejudice to the state. State v. Henderson, 113 Idaho 411, 414, 744 P.2d 795, 798 (Ct.App.1987). The defendant's failure to present and support a plausible reason to withdraw his or her guilty plea will dictate against granting withdrawal, even absent prejudice to the prosecution. Dopp, 124 Idaho at 485, 861 P.2d at 55; Henderson, 113 Idaho at 414, 744 P.2d at 798.

Miller asserts that he was not informed of the possibility that the Washington courts could use his Idaho offenses in fashioning his sentences in that state. He asserts that this use was a "direct" consequence of his Idaho guilty pleas. Thus, he contends that because he was not informed of this consequence at the time of his guilty pleas, the district court violated I.C.R. 11(c), and his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas should have been granted.

Idaho Criminal Rule 11(c) sets forth the minimum requirements that a trial court must follow in accepting a guilty plea. If the record indicates that the trial court followed the requirements of I.C.R. 11(c), this is a prima facie showing that the plea is voluntary and knowing. Ray v. State, 133 Idaho 96, 99, 982 P.2d 931, 934 (1999). Among other things, before a guilty plea can be accepted, the defendant must be informed of the consequences of his or her plea, including minimum and maximum punishments, and other direct consequences which may apply. I.C.R. 11(c)(2). A consequence of a guilty plea is direct where it presents a definite, immediate and largely automatic effect on the defendant's range of punishment. United States v. Kikuyama, 109 F.3d 536, 537 (9th Cir.1997). See also State v. Ward, 123 Wash.2d 488, 869 P.2d 1062, 1075 (1994). However, I.C.R. 11(c) does not require that the defendant be informed of the collateral consequences of his or her guilty plea. Carter v. State, 116 Idaho 468, 468, 776 P.2d 830, 830, (Ct.App.1989). A contingent possibility resulting from a guilty plea is not a direct consequence embraced by Rule 11. See Id. at 469, 776 P.2d at 831,

A conviction's possible enhancing effect on subsequent sentences has been held to be "merely a collateral consequence of a guilty plea." King v. Dutton, 17 F.3d 151, 153 (6th Cir.1994). We find no cogent reason, nor does Miller offer one, why the rule should be different in a case where no conviction has yet been entered and a different jurisdiction chooses to use the fact that the defendant has pled guilty to other offenses in fashioning its sentence.

We also find the reasoning in King instructive in our determination of whether the use, by the Washington trial courts, of Miller's Idaho offenses was a direct consequence of his guilty pleas. The facts in King are analogous to those in the instant case. In King, the defendant pled guilty in Grainger County at a time that he had been "bound over to," but not yet indicted by, a Knox County grand jury. Subsequently, King was prosecuted in Knox County and his Grainger County convictions were used, in part, to fashion his sentence in Knox County. In this case, Miller pled guilty in Idaho at a time when charges were pending against him in Washington. After being found guilty in Washington, Miller's Idaho offenses were used in fashioning his Washington sentences. Like King, Miller moved to withdraw his guilty pleas on the ground that he was not informed that the convictions arising from those pleas could be used against him in another jurisdiction. The King court, in concluding that the use by Knox County of his Grainger County convictions was a collateral consequence of King's guilty pleas, noted that: (1) the prosecutor in Knox County had the discretion to decide whether to make a plea offer and then King had the discretion to decide whether to make a plea; and (2) King could have been acquitted.

In the instant case, at the time of his guilty pleas in Idaho, Miller had yet to be tried for his crimes in Washington. Miller could have been afforded the benefit of plea agreements in Washington which Miller could have either accepted or declined. Terms of those agreements could have included sentencing recommendations on the part of the state or agreements by the state to recommend that the Washington trial courts not use Miller's Idaho offenses when they fashioned his sentences. Additionally, Miller could have been acquitted of the Washington charges. Thus, it was only a contingent possibility that his Idaho offenses would be considered in fashioning his sentences in Washington. The use of Miller's Idaho guilty pleas in Washington was not a "definite, immediate, and largely automatic" consequence of his guilty pleas in Idaho. Therefore, Miller has not shown that the district court failed to comply with I.C.R. 11(c) when it accepted his guilty pleas.

We further note that the due process clause of the Idaho Constitution does not require that a misdemeanor defendant be notified of the possibility that a conviction may be used to enhance the penalties of any subsequent convictions. Williams v. State, 132 Idaho 437, 439, 974 P.2d 83, 85 (Ct.App. 1998). "The value of explaining every possible legal consequence of a conviction to a defendant is outweighed by the immense burden such a requirement would place on courts. Furthermore, a general warning [regarding the possible enhancing effects of a conviction] would be of little use to defendants." Id. Although Williams addressed the possible enhancing effects of a misdemeanor conviction, we find its reasoning equally applicable to the instant case. Accordingly, Miller has failed to demonstrate that the district court abused its discretion when it denied his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas.

B. Motion to Dismiss

Miller argues that the I.A.D. applies to sentencing detainers. Therefore, he asserts that the district court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss based on a violation of the I.A.D. because he was not sentenced within the requisite time frame set forth therein.

Although addressed by several of our sister states, this is a case of first impression in Idaho. The I.A.D. was adopted in Idaho in 1971. See 1971 Idaho Sess. Laws Ch. 167 at 790. The I.A.D. is an interstate compact authorized by Congress to provide a cooperative agreement between party states on detainers. See Cuyler v. Adams, 449 U.S. 433, 435-42, 101 S.Ct. 703, 705-09, 66 L.Ed.2d 641, 646-50 (1981)

; I.C. § 19-5001(a). The I.A.D., as a congressionally sanctioned interstate compact, is a federal law subject to federal construction. New York v. Hill, 528 U.S. 110, ___, 120 S.Ct. 659, 662, 145 L.Ed.2d 560, 564 (2000).

Idaho Code Section 19-5001(c)(1) states:

Whenever a person has entered upon a term of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution of a party state, and

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