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State v. Montez

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

June 5, 2017

State of Minnesota, Respondent,
v.
Andrew Vincent Lafavor Montez, Appellant.

         Washington County District Court File No. 82-CR-15-2399

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Peter Orput, Washington County Attorney, Nicholas A. Hydukovich, Assistant County Attorney, Stillwater, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Frank R. Gallo, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Reyes, Presiding Judge; Connolly, Judge; and Larkin, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         When a plea agreement provides that a particular sentence will be imposed if a defendant complies with certain conditions and the defendant does not comply with those conditions, a district court's imposition of a different sentence is not a violation of the plea agreement and does not entitle the defendant to withdraw the plea.

          OPINION

          CONNOLLY, Judge

         Appellant, having failed to comply with the conditions of his plea agreement and been sentenced without regard to the plea agreement, argues that his sentence violates the plea agreement and entitles him to withdraw his plea. Because a district court has no obligation to impose the sentence in a plea agreement on a defendant who has failed to comply with the conditions in that agreement, we affirm.

         FACTS

         In May 2015, appellant Andrew Montez sold a pound of marijuana for $2, 500 to a confidential informant in Washington County. He was charged with fifth-degree controlled substance crime, sale of marijuana. In December 2015, appellant signed a petition to plead guilty, which provided a stay of imposition and a 45-day cap on his jail sentence and stated

I understand that if I do not cooperate with the [presentence investigation (PSI)], fail to return for sentencing w/o lawful excuse, fail to remain law abiding or even being charged with a crime (sic), fail to abstain from non-prescribed drugs and/or alcohol, or fail to follow any other orders of the court, then the above plea agreement is in jeopardy and the court may sentence me without regard to that agreement, as if I entered a "straight plea."

         Appellant's attorney paraphrased this at the plea hearing, saying:

[Appellant] is going to be pleading guilty to the sole charge in the complaint, Count 1, with a stay of imposition; 45-day cap.
He'll cooperate with the PSI, return for sentencing, and remain law abiding. In fact, not even be charged with a crime, or he understands that it ...

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