State v. Schultz, A21-1437

CourtCourt of Appeals of Minnesota
Writing for the CourtWORKE, JUDGE.
PartiesState of Minnesota, Respondent, v. Mitchell Lee Schultz, Appellant.
Decision Date13 June 2022
Docket NumberA21-1437

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.

Mitchell Lee Schultz, Appellant.

No. A21-1437

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

June 13, 2022


This Opinion is Nonprecedential Except as Provided by Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 136.01, subd. 1(c).

Blue Earth County District Court File No. 07-CR-19-2186

Keith Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Patrick R. McDermott, Blue Earth County Attorney, Susan B. DeVos, Assistant County Attorney, Mankato, Minnesota (for respondent)

Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Amy Lawler, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

Considered and decided by Johnson, Presiding Judge; Worke, Judge; and Ross, Judge.

WORKE, JUDGE.

In this appeal from a probation-revocation decision, appellant argues that the district court erred by denying him custody credit for time spent in custody between the date of his

1

offense and the date his probation was revoked. Because appellant's time in custody was in connection with the offense and awarding custody credit promotes the fairness and equity of the sentencing guidelines without violating any guideline provisions, we reverse and remand.

FACTS

In July 2014, appellant Mitchell Lee Schultz was arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) (2014 DWI). Schultz was charged, convicted, and sentenced to 42 months in prison, executed, with five years[1] of conditional release.

In May 2019, after his 42-month prison sentence had expired, but while he was still on conditional release, Schultz crashed his RV into a ditch and fled the scene. He was apprehended and found carrying methamphetamine, and a blood draw later revealed an alcohol concentration of 0.150. Schultz was charged with three felony counts of DWI, one felony count of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, and one gross misdemeanor count of driving after cancellation.

At the plea hearing in July 2019, Schultz pleaded guilty by Alford plea[2] to felony DWI in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(1) (2018), and felony fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.025, subd. 2(1)

2

(2018), in exchange for a downward dispositional departure and the dismissal of all other charges.

At sentencing in November 2019, the district court granted Schultz the downward dispositional departure. On count one (2019 DWI), the district court sentenced Schultz to 42 months in prison, stayed execution for seven years, and credited him 173 days in jail for time served. Because count one was a DWI, the district court sentenced this count consecutive to his previous 2014 DWI.[3] On count two (drug possession), Schultz was sentenced to 13 months in prison, stayed execution for five years, with 173 days in jail credit for time served. Because count two was not a DWI, the district court sentenced this count concurrently with the 2014 DWI.

On July 2, 2020, while still on conditional release for his 2014 DWI, Schultz's probation agent learned that Schultz had been unsuccessfully discharged from chemical dependency treatment and was unable to maintain his sobriety, both of which were conditions of his probation. The agent had not spoken with Schultz since June 15. On July 10, the agent went to Schultz's residence but there was no answer. The agent determined that Schultz had violated probation by failing to remain in contact with him. Schultz was ultimately apprehended in Nebraska on November 5, 2020, and arrested pursuant to a Minnesota Department of Corrections warrant.

A probation violation report was filed on November 12. Schultz was held in custody until his probation violation hearing on July 30, 2021. At the hearing, the district court

3

found that Schultz had violated his probation, and it revoked his probation. The only remaining issue was Schultz's jail credit.

The probation agent testified that Schultz accumulated jail credit in two phases. First, Schultz was in custody for "181 days" between his arrest and sentencing for the 2019 DWI.[4] Then Schultz "served 268 days" between his arrest for violating probation and the probation violation hearing. Therefore, Schultz had accumulated a total of 449 days of jail credit.[5]

Schultz argued that he was entitled to the entire 449 days' credit on both counts, while the state argued that Schultz was only entitled to 173 days of jail credit for count one (DWI) but conceded that he was entitled to the entire credit for count two (drug possession). The sole basis for this distinction, according to the state, was that the 2019 DWI sentence is "consecutive to the file he is currently serving on supervised release," i.e., the 2014 DWI. And according to the state, his conditional release has not yet expired, meaning, "he has not served that entire sentence." But as for count two (drug possession), Schultz was entitled to the entire credit because, according to the state, that sentence "is concurrent, that's not consecutive."

The district court agreed with the state. On count one (DWI), the district court sentenced Schultz to serve 42 months in prison with 173 days' credit for time served. On

4

count two (drug possession), the district court sentenced Schultz to serve 13 months in prison with 449 days' credit for time served. This appeal followed.

DECISION

Schultz argues that the district court "should have awarded the [449 days of] custody credit" to his count one 2019 DWI, which is "the only remaining term of imprisonment . . . he is currently serving on his newly-executed DWI sentence."

The district court's decision on whether to award custody credit "is a mixed question of fact and law; the court must determine the circumstances of the custody the defendant seeks credit for, and then apply the rules to those circumstances." State v. Johnson, 744 N.W.2d 376, 379 (Minn. 2008). We review the district court's...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT