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State of South Dakota v. William E. Jensen

June 29, 2011

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA,
PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE,
v.
WILLIAM E. JENSEN,
DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT PENNINGTON COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA HONORABLE JOHN J. DELANEY Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Severson, Justice

CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS ON MAY 23, 2011

[¶1.] William Jensen was charged with fourth offense driving under the influence. He filed a motion to strike one of his three prior driving under the influence convictions. Jensen argued that because the magistrate court relied on a statement-of-rights form to establish the voluntariness of his guilty plea, that prior conviction is invalid for sentence-enhancement purposes. The trial court denied Jensen's motion to strike, concluding that the statement-of-rights form was an adequate record of voluntariness. We affirm.

Background

[¶2.] On April 2, 2010, Rapid City Police Officer Eric Holmquist stopped Jensen at approximately 12:16 p.m. on suspicion of driving under the influence. When Officer Holmquist initiated contact with Jensen, he detected the odor of alcohol. Jensen denied drinking that morning but admitted that he drank a pint of whiskey the night before. When Jensen failed a field sobriety test, Officer Holmquist determined that Jensen had been driving under the influence and arrested him. A subsequent blood test revealed that Jensen's blood alcohol level was 0.267 percent.

[¶3.] In May 2010, a Pennington County grand jury indicted Jensen on alternative counts of driving under the influence.*fn1 The State then filed a Part II Information, asserting that Jensen was convicted of driving under the influence in January 2008, July 2006, and December 2000. Because these prior convictions occurred within ten years of the charged offense, the Part II Information alleged a fourth offense driving under the influence charge, a class five felony punishable by a term of five-years imprisonment in the state penitentiary, a $10,000 fine, or both. [¶4.] Jensen pleaded guilty to a second offense driving under the influence charge in April 2006.*fn2 Before the plea hearing, Jensen signed a statement-of-rights form. The form included the statement that "[n]o promises nor threats have been made to me to induce me to sign this waiver and to plead to the charge made against me. I am entering this plea voluntarily and of my own free will." At the hearing, the magistrate court advised Jensen of his statutory and constitutional rights, including the right to counsel, the right to a speedy, public jury trial in the county in which the offense occurred, the right to compulsory process, the right to confront witnesses, the right to remain silent, and the right to a preliminary hearing. The magistrate court also explained the presumption of innocence and advised Jensen of the maximum penalty for a second offense driving under the influence conviction.

[¶5.] Before Jensen entered his guilty plea, the following colloquy took place:

COURT: William Jensen.

D'S ATTY: Your Honor, the defendant would like to enter a plea today.

COURT: All right. Is there any plea agreement here? D'S ATTY: Yes, there is.

STATE: To a standard second offense.

COURT: Okay. And then the other charge will be dismissed?

D'S ATTY: That is correct.

COURT: All right. Okay, I'll have the record reflect then the

State has filed an Information and Information Part II. And, counsel, has Mr. Jensen had an opportunity to sign and ...


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