Yeadon v. People, Supreme Court Case No. 18SC630

Docket NºSupreme Court Case No. 18SC630
Citation462 P.3d 1087
Case DateMay 11, 2020
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

462 P.3d 1087

Gerald Adrian YEADON, Petitioner
v.
The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Respondent

Supreme Court Case No. 18SC630

Supreme Court of Colorado.

May 11, 2020


Attorneys for Petitioner: Megan A. Ring, Public Defender, Inga K. Nelson, Deputy Public Defender, Denver, Colorado

Attorneys for Respondent: Philip J. Weiser, Attorney General, Brenna A. Brackett, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado

Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Colorado Criminal Defense Bar: The Noble Law Firm, LLC, Matthew Fredrickson, Lakewood, Colorado

En Banc

JUSTICE SAMOUR delivered the Opinion of the Court.

¶1 In this case and the companion case, Waddell v. People , 2020 CO 39, 462 P.3d 1100, we address questions surrounding the imposition of surcharges after a sentencing hearing. Here, we hold that the drug offender surcharge, which we long ago declared a form of punishment, is statutorily mandated and, thus, the trial court's failure to order it in open court rendered Gerald Adrian Yeadon's sentence on his class 6 felony drug conviction illegal and subject to correction at any time pursuant to Crim. P. 35(a).1 Therefore, the trial court's imposition of that surcharge after the sentencing hearing did not violate Yeadon's rights under the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States and Colorado Constitutions. Because we remand the case to give Yeadon an opportunity to request a waiver of the drug offender surcharge assessed, we do not reach the merits of his due process claim.

¶2 The court of appeals arrived at the same conclusion in this case. People v. Yeadon , 2018 COA 104, ¶¶ 2, 52–53, ––– P.3d ––––. Accordingly, we affirm its judgment.

I. Procedural History

¶3 A jury found Yeadon guilty of several charges, including possession of less than two grams of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), a class 6 felony at the time. At his sentencing hearing, the trial court failed to impose the drug offender surcharge as a component of the sentence on the class 6 felony drug conviction.2 See § 18-19-103(1)(e), C.R.S. (2019) (providing that "each drug offender who is convicted ... shall be required to pay a surcharge ... in the following amount[ ]: ... [f]or each class 6 felony ..., one thousand two hundred fifty dollars[.]").3 After the sentencing hearing, however, the court added the $1,250 drug offender surcharge on Yeadon's mittimus.

¶4 Yeadon appealed his judgment of conviction and sentence. Id. at ¶ 1. As relevant here, he argued that the late imposition of the drug offender surcharge violated his federal and state constitutional rights against double jeopardy. Id. at ¶ 2. In a unanimous, published decision, a division of the court of appeals disagreed. Id. The division acknowledged that in certain circumstances increasing

462 P.3d 1090

a lawful sentence after it has been imposed and the defendant has begun serving it may amount to double jeopardy. Id. at ¶ 44. But, finding that the drug offender surcharge is mandatory under section 18-19-103(1)(e), the division held that the sentence imposed in open court was illegal and could be—indeed, had to be—corrected pursuant to Crim. P. 35(a). Id. at ¶ 50. Thus, ruled the division, no double jeopardy violation occurred when the court subsequently imposed the surcharge by including it on the mittimus. Id. at ¶ 51.

¶5 Yeadon then sought review of the division's decision. And we granted certiorari to consider whether the trial court's failure to impose the drug offender surcharge during Yeadon's sentencing hearing rendered his sentence illegal and subject to correction at any time under Rule 35(a).4

II. Standard of Review

¶6 The parties assert, and we agree, that whether the sentence imposed during Yeadon's sentencing hearing was authorized by law is a question that we review de novo. See Veith v. People , 2017 CO 19, ¶ 12, 390 P.3d 403, 406 (recognizing that the legality of a defendant's sentence presents a question that we review de novo).

III. Analysis

¶7 The United States Constitution provides that a person shall not "for the same offense ... be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." U.S. Const. amend. V. Similarly, the Colorado Constitution states that a person shall not "be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense." Colo. Const. art. II, § 18. The protective umbrella of these constitutional provisions affords shelter "against receiving multiple punishments for the same offense."5 Allman v. People , 2019 CO 78, ¶ 11, 451 P.3d 826, 829. But is the drug offender surcharge considered punishment such that double jeopardy concerns may be implicated here? The answer is "yes." Almost three decades ago, we concluded that the drug offender surcharge "is properly characterized as a punishment" imposed on defendants convicted of drug offenses. People v. Stead , 845 P.2d 1156, 1160 (Colo. 1993).

¶8 Under some circumstances, increasing a defendant's punishment after a lawful sentence is imposed and the defendant begins serving it "violates the double jeopardy protection against multiple punishments for the same offense." Romero v. People , 179 P.3d 984, 989...

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5 practice notes
  • People v. Alemayehu, Court of Appeals No. 17CA1745
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • May 20, 2021
    ...the fact of possession." People v. Yeadon , 2018 COA 104, ¶ 25, 468 P.3d 50 (citation omitted), aff'd and remanded , 2020 CO 38, 462 P.3d 1087. "[K]nowledge can be inferred from the fact that the defendant is the driver and sole occupant of a vehicle, irrespective of whether he is......
  • People v. Ambrose, Court of Appeals No. 18CA1557
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • July 23, 2020
    ...sentence imposed in open court, which omitted the persistent drunk driver surcharge, was lawful. See Yeadon v. People , 2020 CO 38, ¶ 8, 462 P.3d 1087 (addressing whether the imposition of a similar drug offender surcharge violates double jeopardy). If the original 490 P.3d 843 sentence was......
  • People v. McBride, Court of Appeals No. 17CA2249
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • July 23, 2020
    ...2018 COA 104, ¶ 24, ––– P.3d –––– (quoting People v. Atencio , 140 P.3d 73, 75 (Colo. App. 2005) ), aff'd on other grounds , 2020 CO 38, 462 P.3d 1087. "If a ‘defendant has exclusive possession of the premises in which drugs are found, the jury may infer knowledge from the fact of poss......
  • Waddell v. People, Supreme Court Case No. 18SC905
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 11, 2020
    ...ColoradoEn BancJUSTICE SAMOUR delivered the Opinion of the Court. ¶1 In this case and the companion case, Yeadon v. People , 2020 CO 38, 462 P.3d 1087, we address questions surrounding the imposition of surcharges after a sentencing hearing. Here, we first hold that the drug offender surcha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • People v. Alemayehu, Court of Appeals No. 17CA1745
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • May 20, 2021
    ...from the fact of possession." People v. Yeadon , 2018 COA 104, ¶ 25, 468 P.3d 50 (citation omitted), aff'd and remanded , 2020 CO 38, 462 P.3d 1087. "[K]nowledge can be inferred from the fact that the defendant is the driver and sole occupant of a vehicle, irrespective of whether he is also......
  • People v. Ambrose, Court of Appeals No. 18CA1557
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • July 23, 2020
    ...sentence imposed in open court, which omitted the persistent drunk driver surcharge, was lawful. See Yeadon v. People , 2020 CO 38, ¶ 8, 462 P.3d 1087 (addressing whether the imposition of a similar drug offender surcharge violates double jeopardy). If the original 490 P.3d 843 sentence was......
  • People v. McBride, Court of Appeals No. 17CA2249
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • July 23, 2020
    ...2018 COA 104, ¶ 24, ––– P.3d –––– (quoting People v. Atencio , 140 P.3d 73, 75 (Colo. App. 2005) ), aff'd on other grounds , 2020 CO 38, 462 P.3d 1087. "If a ‘defendant has exclusive possession of the premises in which drugs are found, the jury may infer knowledge from the fact of possessio......
  • Waddell v. People, Supreme Court Case No. 18SC905
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 11, 2020
    ...ColoradoEn BancJUSTICE SAMOUR delivered the Opinion of the Court. ¶1 In this case and the companion case, Yeadon v. People , 2020 CO 38, 462 P.3d 1087, we address questions surrounding the imposition of surcharges after a sentencing hearing. Here, we first hold that the drug offender surcha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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