This opinion will be unpublished and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
James Michael Soderbeck,
Filed September 11, 2007
Ramsey County District Court
File No. K0-05-3323
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800
Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney, Mark N. Lystig, Assistant County Attorney, 50 W. Kellogg Boulevard, Suite 315, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Paul J. Maravigli, Assistant
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Worke, Judge; and Willis Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from a conviction of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person, appellant argues that his prior gross-misdemeanor conviction for terroristic threats was not a “crime of violence” because it was not a felony and the district court denied his due-process right to present a mistake-of-law defense. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
Appellant James Michael Soderbeck
argues that the district court erred by determining that he is subject to a
firearms restriction because he had been convicted of a crime of violence, under
Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 5 (2004).
Statutory construction is a question of law,
which this court reviews de novo. State v. Stewart,624 N.W.2d 585, 588 (
Appellant was convicted of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(b) (2004), which provides that a person who has been convicted of a crime of violence shall not be entitled to possess any firearm. A crime of violence includes a felony conviction of terroristic threats, under Minn. Stat. § 609.713. Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 5. In April 2004, appellant pleaded guilty to terroristic threats, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.713 (2002); therefore, he has a prior conviction of a crime of violence and is ineligible to possess firearms. But appellant argues that because under Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 5, a crime of violence is a felony conviction, and he was discharged from probation and his felony was deemed a gross misdemeanor, he was not convicted of a crime of violence.
The Minnesota Supreme Court recently
rejected appellant’s argument. State v.
Appellant also argues
that the district court abused its discretion by precluding him from presenting
a mistake-of-law defense. Appellant
wanted to show that he did not have the required intent of possessing a firearm
when he was ineligible to do so, but rather, that he relied on his prior
attorney’s advice that he was eligible to possess firearms. This court defers
to the district court’s exercise of discretion in evidentiary matters. State
v. Kelly, 435 N.W.2d 807, 813 (
Appellant claims that he relied on his prior attorney’s advice that he
would not be ineligible to possess firearms after he was discharged from
probation and his offense was deemed a gross misdemeanor. Appellant provided an affidavit of his prior
attorney indicating that he advised appellant that the gross-misdemeanor
conviction would not affect his right to possess firearms. Appellant cites to State v. Jacobson,
in which the defendant relied on advice from his attorney and a letter from a
county attorney interpreting Minnesota’s voting and election laws and
determining that certain acts were not criminal. 697 N.W.2d 610, 613 (
Here, appellant relied
on advice from his prior attorney and nothing else. Conversely, in Jacobson, the defendant
relied on a county attorney, who indicated in a letter that acts similar to
those that Jacobson intended to do were not criminal.