This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).







Jose D. Talamantes, petitioner,





State of Minnesota,




Filed May 24, 2005


Lansing, Judge


Olmsted County District Court

File No. KX-99-1756, CX-04-509



John Stuart, State Public Defender, James R. Peterson, Assistant Public Defender, Suite 425, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, MN  55414 (for appellant)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN  55101; and


Raymond F. Schmitz, Olmsted County Attorney, James S. Martinson, Assistant County Attorney, Daniel P.H. Reiff, Assistant County Attorney, 151 Southeast Fourth Street, Rochester, MN 55904 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Crippen, Judge.*

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            In this appeal from the denial of postconviction relief, Jose Talamantes challenges the district court’s determination that he is not entitled to plea withdrawal or sentence modification.  Because the addition of the mandatory conditional-release term did not violate the plea agreement, we affirm.


            In October 1999 Jose Talamantes pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.345, subds. 1(c), 2 (1998).  The plea was entered pursuant to an agreement whereby the state reduced the charge from second-degree to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Talamantes received the presumptive guidelines sentence of twenty-one months in prison stayed for ten years on various conditions, including one hundred eighty-two days of jail time.

            Following Talamantes’s release from jail, his probation officer filed violation reports, and the district court held violation hearings in February, April, and June 2001.  In September 2001 Talamantes admitted that he had violated the conditions of his probation, and the district court executed the previously stayed twenty-one-month prison sentence.  As required by Minn. Stat. § 609.109, subd. 7 (1998), the district court informed Talamantes that, following his incarceration, he was subject to a conditional-release period of five years, minus the time he had already spent on supervised release.  The probation report also contained notice of the five-year conditional-release period as did the three previous violation reports.

            Talamantes was released from prison, and his twenty-one-month sentence expired in December 2002.  After violating the terms of his five-year conditional-release period, he was again incarcerated.  In February 2004 he petitioned for postconviction relief, arguing that the imposition of a conditional-release term invalidated his guilty plea and abrogated his plea agreement, thus entitling him to plea withdrawal or sentence modification.  The district court found that he failed to demonstrate he was entitled to postconviction relief, and Talamantes appeals.


            We review decisions of a postconviction court for abuse of discretion.  Hale v. State, 566 N.W.2d 923, 926 (Minn. 1997).  A postconviction court’s factual findings will be sustained if they are supported by sufficient evidence, but we make an independent determination of the law as it applies to the facts.  Doan v. State, 306 Minn. 89, 91-92, 234 N.W.2d 824, 826 (1975).  What the parties agreed to in a plea agreement is an issue of fact to be resolved by the district court; the plea agreement’s interpretation or enforcement is an issue of law, which we review de novo.  State v. Brown, 606 N.W.2d 670, 674 (Minn. 2000).

            Talamantes’s postconviction petition set forth two bases for relief:  (1) that his initial plea was invalid because he was not advised of the five-year conditional-release term and (2) that the imposition of the conditional-release term following his probation violation abrogated the terms of his plea agreement.  He argued that these errors could be cured by application of plea withdrawal or sentence modification as set forth by State v. Wukawitz, 662 N.W.2d 517 (Minn. 2003).  The district court determined that Wukawitz did not provide a basis for relief.  The law and the facts support that determination.  Wukawitz held that “in those limited circumstances where imposition of a conditional release term after sentencing would violate the plea agreement, the district court may allow the defendant to withdraw his plea.”  Id. at 520.  But in Wukawitz, the defendant’s plea was expressly induced by promise of a maximum executed sentence.  Id. at 521.  In this case, Talamantes did not negotiate for a sentence of specific duration in exchange for his guilty plea. 

            In his petition to enter a plea of guilty, Talamantes identified the substance of the plea agreement as a reduction of the charge from second-degree to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.  At the October 1999 plea hearing, Talamantes’s attorney stated the terms of the plea agreement:  “[B]asically it would be that the charge of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree would be dismissed and Mr. Talamantes would plead guilty to the amended charge of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.”  The court asked for clarification to which counsel responded, “As we understand the guidelines, the second degree would be a presumptive prison sentence and the fourth degree is a presumptive [jail] sentence.”  The court then addressed Talamantes directly, asking, “[O]ther than that plea agreement to amend the charge to a fourth degree criminal sexual conduct matter, has any other promise been made to you?”  Talamantes answered, “No.”  The court then asked: “And you know that the criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree is a felony . . . [a]nd the maximum possible penalty is up to 10 years in prison?”  Talamantes answered, “Yes.”  Relying on this part of the hearing testimony, the postconviction court found that “beyond the charge reduction there were no other agreements in the case and no other promises made.” 

            Talamantes contends that his responses to the court at the plea hearing are consistent with his understanding that the plea agreement included a promise of a twenty-one-month sentence.  But the record contains no reference to a stipulated maximum sentence, and the district court specifically advised Talamantes of the ten-year maximum sentence.  Talamantes attested to his knowledge that the crime to which he was pleading guilty could result in a ten-year sentence. 

            The postconviction court’s conclusion that the plea agreement involved only a reduction in the level of criminal sexual conduct with which Talamantes would be charged is adequately supported by the record and is not clearly erroneous.  The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion by declining to apply Wukawitz and denying the petition to modify Talamantes’s sentence or withdraw his guilty plea.


* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.