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State v. Smith

Supreme Court of South Dakota

March 12, 2014

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
MARK SMITH, Defendant and Appellant

Considered on Briefs February 18, 2014.

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT PENNINGTON COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE THOMAS L. TRIMBLE, Judge.

MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, ELLIE J. BAILEY, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.

TODD A. LOVE, Bettmann Hogue Law Firm, Prof. LLC, Rapid City, South Dakota, Attorneys for defendant and appellant.

GILBERTSON, Chief Justice. KONENKAMP, ZINTER, SEVERSON, and WILBUR, Justices, concur.

OPINION

Page 627

GILBERTSON, Chief Justice

[¶1] In this appeal, Defendant Mark Smith challenges the validity of a Part II Information filed against him that alleged Smith had previously been convicted of two DUI offenses. He claims the predicate convictions were invalid due to the courts' lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Smith also appeals the circuit court's denial of his request for a suspended imposition of sentence, claiming that the statute relied on by the court violated the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto legislation. We affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] Smith was arrested in April 2012, suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. A grand jury indicted Smith for driving while under the influence of alcohol in violation of SDCL 32-23-1(2), or alternatively, for driving while having .08% or more by weight of alcohol in his blood in violation of SDCL 32-23-1(1). The grand jury also indicted Smith for obstructing a public officer in violation of SDCL 22-11-6. In June 2012, a Part II Information was filed alleging that Smith had been convicted of two prior DUI offenses.

[¶3] In 2008, Smith was charged with alternative counts of driving or control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or driving or control of a vehicle while having .08% or more by weight of alcohol in his blood. The record reflects that the prosecution in that case handed the information to the judge at the arraignment hearing. Smith pleaded guilty and was granted a suspended imposition of sentence.

[¶4] In 2009, Smith was again arrested and charged with the same alternative offenses, stemming from a separate driving incident. The record does not indicate how the information was filed with the court, but the judgment of conviction in that case states that an information was filed with the court on the same day as the arraignment. Smith pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, with all jail time suspended on certain conditions.

[¶5] Smith moved to dismiss the 2012 Part II Information. He argued that the 2008 and 2009 convictions were invalid for enhancement purposes because the magistrate courts in each of the actions failed to obtain subject matter jurisdiction over the actions. Specifically, Smith argued that the judges' failure to strictly follow procedure meant the information's were not validly filed and the courts therefore lacked jurisdiction. Following a hearing on the matter, the circuit court denied the motion. In October 2012, the circuit court entered its findings of fact and conclusions of law. The circuit court found that in each prior conviction, Smith was fully advised of his constitutional and statutory ...


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