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State v. Patterson

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

December 30, 2013

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Michael Dana Patterson, Appellant

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Pipestone County District Court File No. 59-CR-12-495.

Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and James E. O'Neill, Pipestone County Attorney, Damain D. Sandy, Assistant County Attorney, Pipestone, Minnesota (for respondent)

Michael D. Patterson, Jasper, Minnesota (pro se appellant)

Considered and decided by Stauber, Presiding Judge; Worke, Judge; and Bjorkman, Judge.

WORKE, Judge.

Appellant challenges his two convictions of driving while impaired (DWI), arguing that his license was not previously revoked under the enhancement statute, that the jury was instructed incorrectly, that he was barred from presenting a relevant case, and that the district court erred in correcting the sentencing order. Because the enhancement statute recognizes revocation of reciprocal driving privileges as a prior revocation, and because the district court did not err in its jury instructions, ruling on the relevance of caselaw, or in correcting a clerical error, we affirm.

FACTS

On December 1, 2012, appellant Michael Dana Patterson was arrested on suspicion of DWI. Patterson submitted to a breath test, which revealed an alcohol concentration of .15. He was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(1) (2012), and driving with an alcohol concentration in excess of .08, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(5). Patterson was licensed to drive in California and had never received a Minnesota driver's license, but his Minnesota driving privileges were revoked after a 2003 impaired-driving incident. The current charges were thus enhanced to third-degree gross misdemeanors under Minn. Stat. § 169A.26, subds. 1(a), 2 (2012).

Pro se, Patterson based his legal strategy on interpreting the enhancement statute to require the revocation of an actual Minnesota driver's license. At his jury trial, Patterson introduced his California driving record, which showed no revocations. The district court denied Patterson's request to subpoena the Pipestone County sheriff to testify that Patterson "did not suffer a license revocation in 2003." The district court also denied as irrelevant Patterson's request to present the case of State v. Wiltgen, 737 N.W.2d 561 (Minn. 2007), in which the supreme court held that a prior impaired-driving incident could not be used as an aggravating factor if it had not yet been adjudicated.

The district court instructed the jury using standard form instructions and excised irrelevant portions describing how to count multiple prior qualified offenses. The jury found Patterson guilty of both counts of third-degree DWI.

The district court imposed a stayed sentence of 365 days in jail, placed Patterson on probation, and required him to serve 30 days in jail. The written sentencing order incorrectly stated that Patterson had been sentenced to 30 days in jail and did not reflect that he was given a 365-day stayed sentence. The district court corrected the written sentencing order sua sponte to conform to the sentence pronounced on the record at the sentencing hearing. Patterson objected to the correction and moved for a hearing. The district court held that it had made a proper correction of a clerical mistake and denied Patterson's motion. This appeal followed.

DECISION

Prior revocation


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