This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Filed June 13, 2006
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Raymond F. Schmitz, Olmsted County Attorney, David F. McLeod, Assistant County Attorney, 151 Fourth Street Southeast, Rochester, MN 55904 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Richard A. Schmitz, Assistant Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Worke, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Forsberg, Judge.*
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Appellant Brandon Arndt pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1998, and the sentencing court stayed appellant’s 86-month prison sentence, placing him on probation subject to certain conditions, including completion of sex offender treatment. After appellant was terminated from treatment for failing a polygraph examination and engaging in disruptive behavior, the district court revoked appellant’s probation and executed the stayed sentence. Appellant challenges the probation revocation, arguing that the district court abused its discretion by failing to make the requisite findings to support the revocation and that the evidence was insufficient to show that the probation violation was intentional and the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation. We affirm.
The district court has
“broad discretion in determining if there is sufficient evidence to revoke
probation and should be reversed only if there is a clear abuse of that
discretion.” State v.
The district court must
engage in a three-step analysis before probation can be revoked: (1) designate the specific condition that was
violated; (2) find that the violation was intentional or inexcusable; and (3)
find that the need for confinement outweighs the policies favoring probation.
In the past, appellate courts
have applied a “sufficient evidence exception” to the requirement that district
court make findings in support of the
Appellant argues that the
district court abused its discretion when it revoked his probation without
making the requisite findings on each of the
The district court did not
address the third factor at that time because appellant’s counsel proposed that
the hearing be continued for 30 days to provide appellant the opportunity to be
re-admitted to the treatment program. At
the subsequent hearing, the district court addressed the third
Appellant nonetheless argues
that the district court abused its discretion by dividing the probation
revocation into two separate hearings. Appellant
relies on Modtland to argue that the
district court revoked his probation at the first hearing and did not make
findings regarding all three
Here, the district court did
not officially revoke appellant’s probation until after it addressed the three
Appellant also argues that insufficient evidence supports the district court’s findings that the probation violation was intentional and that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation. Appellant does not dispute that he violated a specific condition of probation.
Appellant first contends that the evidence is insufficient to show an “intentional” violation because appellant’s failure of the polygraph examination could be attributed to the inherent unreliability of such tests or the erroneous administration of this particular test. But the record indicates that appellant previously admitted the sexual misconduct in a psychosexual evaluation, yet denied such conduct during a polygraph examination. Thus, there is evidence that the failed polygraph is attributable to appellant’s intentional deception rather than some flaw in the examination itself. Further, even assuming that the polygraph exam failure was insufficient to establish an intentional violation, the district court also found that appellant was terminated from treatment for his behavior when confronted with the results. Appellant’s violent and disruptive behavior, which threatened the safety of others in the program and required police intervention, clearly was intentional. Consequently, sufficient evidence supports the district court’s finding that the violation was intentional.
Second, appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to show that confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation because it was appellant’s first probation violation. But the record indicates that, in addition to the current violation, appellant has had a string of unsuccessful treatment attempts. After five years, appellant had not only failed to complete sex offender treatment, but actually regressed in treatment by denying any responsibility for the offense. Appellant refused to take the necessary steps to be re-admitted to the sex offender program following the violation. On this record, there is sufficient evidence to support the finding that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.
district court made the requisite findings regarding the
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.