This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Ronald Edward Hott,
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 05063208
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Thomas A. Weist, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Richard A. Schmitz,
Assistant Public Defender,
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Shumaker, Judge; and Ross, Judge.
Ronald Hott appeals from the district court’s restitution order arising from his theft of three cars. Hott argues that the district court should not have ordered him to pay restitution related to all three thefts because he pleaded guilty to only one and the complaints charging him for the other two were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Because restitution was a material term of Hott’s plea agreement, we affirm.
The state charged Hott in separate complaints with three
counts of motor-vehicle theft and other crimes arising from thefts of motor
vehicles in July, September, and October 2005.
In July, police received a report of a stolen vehicle with
Two months later, Hott was on release from custody when police found him driving another stolen car. Its steering column was damaged, and he was operating it without a key. The third theft occurred in October. Police received a report of a stolen vehicle, and they soon located it on the roadway. After a brief chase, its driver abandoned it in an alley and fled on foot. Police found Hott hiding nearby and witnesses identified him as the driver.
The state charged Hott and notified him that it would recommend that he be sentenced as a career offender. Hott conferred with his counsel and agreed to plead guilty to one count of motor-vehicle theft for the October 2005 theft in exchange for dismissal of all other charges, including the July and September thefts. Before the court accepted Hott’s guilty plea, Hott acknowledged restitution in the amount of $1,049.45 as documented and claimed by the victims in all three thefts. The district court sentenced Hott to 30 months’ imprisonment, and it ordered him to pay restitution in the amount he had acknowledged.
But Hott later moved the district court for a restitution hearing to challenge part of the amounts claimed for the July and September thefts. The district court rejected the challenge, finding that Hott had agreed to the restitution amount during his guilty plea and sentencing hearing and that the amount ordered directly resulted from Hott’s criminal actions. This appeal follows.
D E C I S I O N
The district court may order restitution based on the amount
of the victim’s economic loss resulting from the crime. Minn. Stat. § 611A.045, subd. 1(a)(1)
(2004). A district court generally has
broad discretion to order and determine the amount of restitution, and
restitution may be ordered as part of an executed prison sentence. State
v. Anderson, 507 N.W.2d 245, 246 (Minn. App. 1993), review denied (Minn. Dec. 22, 1993). Ordinarily,
restitution is proper only when the victim’s losses are directly caused by the
conduct for which the defendant is convicted, and the record must provide a
factual basis for the victim’s loss. State v. Latimer, 604 N.W.2d 103, 105 (
Hott argues that the district court abused its discretion by denying his challenge to certain restitution amounts stemming from the July and September thefts because the record does not support those awards of restitution. Specifically, he argues that because the challenged amounts arise from charges that were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, and because he did not admit to any conduct in those incidents, there is no evidence that the losses were caused by his acts. But Hott’s argument overlooks that the restitution awarded was a material term of the bargained-for plea agreement that formed the basis for the state to dismiss charges and to forgo prosecution as a career offender.
When restitution is an essential term of a negotiated plea agreement, it also may constitute part of a valid contract by which both the state and the defendant receive the benefit of the bargain. State v. Wallace, 545 N.W.2d 674, 677 (Minn. App. 1996), review denied (Minn. May 21, 1996). Applying principles of contract, we will even reverse a restitution award if the plea agreement specifically contemplated that the state would not seek restitution. See Anderson, 520 N.W.2d at 188 (reversing restitution award because right to restitution was relinquished by plea agreement). Hott bargained for and received the dismissal of other felony charges and the state’s agreement not to prosecute him as a career offender. In exchange, he offered his guilty plea and he acknowledged the restitution due in the amount as documented before the agreement and confirmed at sentencing. That he later conceived of a legal theory to challenge some of the agreed-upon amount does not provide him a basis to challenge the state’s share of the bargain.
We note that restitution is not limited to amounts that arise
in criminal counts to which a defendant pleads guilty. State v.
Olson, 381 N.W.2d 899, 900-01 (