August 19, 2019

Archives for July 9, 2013

Colorado Court of Appeals: Defendant Improperly Denied Presentence Confinement Credit

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Henry on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Presentence Confinement Credit.

Defendant appealed his sentence,arguing that the district court erred in denying him any presentence confinement credit (PSCC).The sentence was reversed in part and the case was remanded for amendment of the mittimus.

While on mandatory parole in another case, defendant was charged with numerous offenses in this case. After defendant pleaded guilty to an added count of attempted sexual assault on a child, the district court sentenced defendant according to the agreement, but denied his request for 397 days of PSCC for the time he had spent in jail between the date of his arrest and the date of sentencing.

Defendant argued that the district court erred in denying him any PSCC. There was no dispute that defendant’s confinement from the date of his arrest (February 3, 2011) to the date of his sentencing (March 5, 2012) was caused by the charges filed in this case. Therefore, the district court erred both in concluding that defendant was not entitled to PSCC credit and in failing to include such credit in the mittimus. Because the court misapprehended its authority under the PSCC statute, that portion of defendant’s sentence was reversed and the case was remanded for the court to amend the mittimus to reflect 397 days of PSCC.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: County Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Hear Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Case

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Vigil on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Habitual Domestic Violence Offender—County Court—Felony.

Defendant challenged his convictions under the habitual domestic violence offender (HDVO) statute. The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

Defendant was charged in county court with misdemeanor counts in two separate cases, both arising from his conduct with his wife, the victim. Both cases went to trial in county court, and in each case, defendant was convicted of violating a protection order and the court found that his acts were an incident of domestic violence. The county court judge found that defendant was subject to HDVO sentencing.

Defendant contended that because he was charged with misdemeanor and felony counts pursuant to the HDVO statute, he was entitled to be tried in accordance with felony trial procedures, and the court’s failure to do so violated his statutory and constitutional rights. The HDVO statute is a sentence enhancement statute, not a substantive offense, which mandates a class 5 felony offense. The HDVO statute, as applied here, denied him critical constitutional and statutory protections required for felony convictions. Accordingly, defendant’s convictions were reversed and the case was remanded to the district court for a jury trial, should the People elect to pursue the prosecution.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Masked Offender Can Qualify as “Stranger” for Purposes of Sexually Violent Predator Determination

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Hunter on Monday, July 1, 2013.

Sexually Violent Predator—“Stranger”—Statutory Interpretation—CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(III).

The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals’ erred in reversing petitioner’s designation as a sexually violent predator under CRS § section 18-3-414.5(1)(a). The Court held that “stranger” in § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(III) means either the victim is not known by the offender or the offender is not known by the victim at the time of the offense.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Relationship Prong of Sexually Violent Predator Determination Can Be Satisfied by Totality of Circumstances

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Candelaria v. People on Monday, July 1, 2013.

Sexually Violent Predator—CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(III)—Specific Intent.

The Supreme Court held that an offender need not specifically intend to establish or promote a relationship with the victim primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization to satisfy the relationship criterion of the sexually violent predator statute, CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(III). The Court accordingly overruled the court of appeals’ decision in People v. Stead, 66 P.3d 117 (Colo.App. 2002), to the extent that it conflicts with this holding. In addition, the Court upheld the court of appeals’ judgment affirming the trial court’s specific findings and resulting designation of petitioner as a sexually violent predator.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Improper Definition of “Promoted a Relationship” Applied When Determining Sexually Violent Predator Status

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Uribe-Sanchez v. People on Monday, July 1, 2013.

Sexually Violent Predator—CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(III)—“Promoted a Relationship.”

Applying its interpretation of the term “promoted a relationship” in CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(III) from People v. Gallegos, 2013 CO 45, the Supreme Court held that the court of appeals erred when it concluded that petitioner promoted a relationship with his victim by violently sexually assaulting her. The Court remanded the case to the court of appeals with instructions to remand to the trial court to determine whether to designate petitioner as a sexually violent predator under the proper interpretation of “promoted a relationship.”

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Defendant who Sexually Assaulted Girlfriend’s Daughter Did Not Establish Relationship with Victim for Purpose of Assault

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Gallegos on Monday, July 1, 2013.

Sexually Violent Predator—“Established a Relationship”—“Promoted a Relationship”—CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(III).

The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the court of appeals’ decision affirming petitioner’s designation as a sexually violent predator under CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a). The Court held that an offender “established a relationship” with his or her victim primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization where the offender created, started, or began a relationship primarily for that purpose. Here, petitioner had lived with the victim and treated her as his stepdaughter for the three years preceding the assault. The Court held that, based on these facts, petitioner had not established a relationship with the victim primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization. Thus, he should not be designated as a sexually violent predator.

The Court also held that an offender “promoted a relationship” if, excluding the offender’s behavior during the commission of the sexual assault that led to his or her conviction, the offender otherwise encouraged a person with whom he had a limited relationship to enter into a broader relationship primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization. Because the trial court failed to consider whether petitioner promoted a relationship with his victim primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization, the Court remands the case to the court of appeals with instructions to remand to the trial court to make specific factual findings and determine whether petitioner promoted a relationship with his victim primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Trial Court Should Afford Great Weight to Sex Offender Management Board’s Screening Tool Before Classifying Defendant as Sexually Violent Predator

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Allen v. People on Monday, July 1, 2013.

Sexually Violent Predator—CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(IV)—Risk Assessment Screening Instrument.

The Supreme Court upheld the court of appeals’ decision affirming petitioner’s designation as a sexually violent predator under CRS § 18-3-414.5(1)(a)(IV). The Court held that although the trial court makes the ultimate designation, it should give substantial deference to the Sex Offender Management Board’s scored risk assessment screening instrument. A trial court that deviates from the results of a scored risk assessment screening instrument must make specific findings to demonstrate the necessity of its deviation.

Summary and full case available here.