This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Christopher L. Manska,
Filed July 18, 2006
St. Louis County District Court
File No. K6-03-300928
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Alan L. Mitchell, St. Louis County Attorney, Brian D. Simonson, Assistant County Attorney, 1810 12th Avenue East, 107D Courthouse, Hibbing, MN 55746 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Cathryn Middlebrook, Assistant
Considered and decided by Worke, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from an order revoking probation, appellant argues that the district court’s findings were inadequate because the district court failed to make a finding that appellant’s alleged violations were intentional or inexcusable and failed to make a finding that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
In a contested probation-revocation hearing, the district court
must make “written findings of fact on all disputed issues including a summary
of the evidence relied upon and a statement of the court’s reasons for its
determination.” Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.04,
subd. 3(4). Before
revoking probation, a district court must “1) designate the specific condition
or conditions that were violated; 2) find that the violation was intentional or
inexcusable; and 3) find that need for confinement outweighs the policies
favoring probation.” State v.
Appellant Christopher L. Manska first
argues that the district court erred by failing to make a finding that
appellant’s probation violations were intentional or inexcusable. “The ‘written findings’ requirement
is satisfied by the district court stating its findings and reasons on the
record, which, when reduced to a transcript, is sufficient to permit
Here, conditions of appellant’s probation included that he stay alcohol-and drug-free; submit to drug testing; have no same, similar, or lesser charges; and drive only with a valid driver’s license and insurance. Appellant allegedly violated his probation after being charged with fleeing a police officer and driving after revocation, using marijuana and consuming alcoholic beverages, and driving without a valid driver’s license and insurance. During appellant’s revocation hearing, a police officer testified that appellant was driving a snowmobile on a bike trail where snowmobiles are not permitted. The officer testified that he believed that appellant was under the influence because appellant’s eyes were bloodshot, he was unsteady, his speech was slurred, and he performed poorly on a horizontal-gaze- nystagmus test. When the officer went back to his squad car, appellant fled on his snowmobile. The district court stated, “[T]he driver’s license didn’t mean anything to you, the no drink, no smoking pot, didn’t mean anything to you[.]” The district court further stated, “Obviously the court has found that this violation of probation is serious enough for [appellant] to have his probation revoked and to be sent to prison.” Although the district court did not use the words “intentional” or “inexcusable,” the district court implicitly found that appellant’s probation violations were intentional or inexcusable.
Appellant next argues that the
district court failed to make a finding that confinement outweighed the policies
favoring probation. Based on the record,
the district court satisfied the third
Appellant also argues that there is
inadequate evidence to prove the alleged violations because the revocation
hearing was held before the new charges were resolved. The district court ruled that there was clear and convincing evidence
that appellant violated his conditions of probation that appellant remain alcohol-and
drug-free and that appellant not drive without a license or insurance. First, the police officer testified
that he believed that appellant was driving while under the influence because
appellant’s eyes were bloodshot, he was unsteady, he slurred his speech, he
performed poorly on the field sobriety test, and appellant admitting to
consuming a few beers. The district
court determined that the officer’s testimony was “uncontradicted,” and this
court is not in a position to challenge the district court’s credibility
determinations. See State v.
368, 373 (
Appellant also argues that his violations
were merely technical violations. “[A]n accumulation of technical violations” should not be
the basis for probation revocation.
[I]f somebody on a felony probation has a couple of beers and smokes a little bit of pot and gets a traffic offense that that in itself is not going to be so serious as to send him to prison. However, when you look at it in the context of this case and looking at what happened back in April of 2004 when [appellant] was sentenced, that under the circumstances here any continuing failure of him to maintain sobriety is in itself serious.
Thus, in a different situation appellant’s violations may not justify revocation, but here, revocation was justified because of appellant’s history and the nature of his violations. The district court did not revoke appellant’s probation for mere technical violations.
Finally, appellant has submitted a pro se brief arguing that (1) his due-process rights were violated when he was not brought before a judge on his warrant within 36 hours; (2) he was not made aware of a five-year conditional-release period when he pleaded guilty; (3) the officers were not credible; (4) he was never read his Miranda warning after he turned himself in; (5) he never saw a videotape from the officer’s squad car; (6) there is new evidence; and (7) the district court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction (a jurisdiction issue different from the issue appellant raised during his hearing that the district court lacked jurisdiction because the statutes under which he was charged did not have enacting clauses), and venue was improper.
First, while appellant was not brought before
a judge within 36 hours, he was being held on new charges and the original
warrant had been quashed. Second, the remaining
issues were not raised in the district court.
See Roby v. State,547 N.W.2d
354, 357 (