This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).






Michael S. Anderson, petitioner,





State of Minnesota,



Filed September 18, 2007


Randall, Judge


Faribault County District Court

File No. K3-00-378



John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Cathryn Middlebrook, Assistant Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN  55414 (for appellant)


Lori Swanson, State Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN  55101-2134; and


Brian Roverud, Faribault County Attorney, 412 North Nicollet, P.O. Box 5, Blue Earth, MN  56013 (for respondent)

            Considered and decided by Willis
, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Randall, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            On appeal from an order denying his postconviction petition challenging his 2000 conviction and sentence for third-degree criminal sexual conduct, appellant, who pleaded guilty under an agreement calling for a stayed sentence and received an 18-month stayed sentence, argues that the district court erred in ruling that the addition of a five-year conditional-release term at his probation revocation did not violate his plea agreement.  Appellant argues that he is entitled to withdrawal of his guilty plea or modification of his sentence.  We affirm.


            On September 14, 2000, appellant Michael Shawn Anderson was charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.344 (2000).  Appellant entered an Alford plea in November 2000 to the charged offense, which carried a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.  Appellant’s plea agreement was silent as to the terms of his sentence.  Appellant accepted the plea knowing that the following day a jury trial was scheduled, and that before the commencement of trial, the state would move to amend the charges to include two additional counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Appellant was aware that the state would not charge appellant with those additional counts if the plea was accepted.  On November 13, 2000, appellant was sentenced to a stayed
sentence of 18 months in prison, placed on probation for a period of zero to 15 years, and was sentenced to six months in jail with credit for time served.  The sentencing order of December 11, 2000 reflected the same. 

            In February 2002, the first of two probation revocation hearings was conducted.  At the February 2002 hearing, appellant admitted the probation violations in exchange for a 30-day jail sentence, after which appellant would remain on probation in accordance with the same terms and conditions imposed in the December 11, 2000 sentencing order.  A second probation revocation hearing was held on March 20, 2002, where appellant admitted violating certain terms of his probation.  The district court found that appellant violated the terms of his probation and the district court’s order.  Consequently, the district court revoked appellant’s probation and executed the original 18-month stayed sentence.  The district court also imposed the statutory five year conditional release period.[1]  Appellant subsequently filed a petition for postconviction relief, arguing that his plea was not made
knowingly and voluntarily.  The district court denied appellant’s motion for postconviction relief and this appeal followed. 


            The postconviction court’s decision is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard.  State v. Rhodes, 675 N.W.2d 323, 326 (Minn. 2004), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 882, 125 S. Ct. 134 (2004).  The “scope of review on appeal from a postconviction court’s denial of relief is limited to whether the court abused its discretion, including whether there was sufficient evidence to support the court’s conclusions.”  James v. State, 699 N.W.2d 723, 728 (Minn. 2005) (citing Woodruff v. State, 608 N.W.2d 881, 884 (Minn. 2000)). “Determining what the parties agreed to in a plea bargain is a factual inquiry for the postconviction court to resolve.”  Rhodes, 675 N.W.2d at 326.  However, “interpretation and enforcement of plea agreements involve issues of law that [the court] review[s] de novo.”  Id. 

            Under Minnesota law, “[a] criminal defendant does not have an absolute right to withdraw a guilty plea once it is entered.”  Id. (citing Perkins v. State, 559 N.W.2d 678, 685 (Minn. 1997)).  A criminal defendant shall be allowed to withdraw a guilty plea “upon a timely motion and proof to the satisfaction of the court that withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice.”  Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 1.  To have a valid guilty plea, “the plea must be (a) accurate, (b) voluntary, and (c) intelligent (that is, knowing and understanding).”  Brown v. State, 449 N.W.2d 180, 182 (Minn. 1989) (citing State v. Trott, 338 N.W.2d 248, 251 (Minn. 1983)).  “A manifest injustice occurs when a guilty plea is not accurate, voluntary, and intelligent.”  Alanis v. State, 583 N.W.2d 573, 577 (Minn. 1998) (citing Perkins, 559 N.W.2d at 688).

            Appellant argues that because his plea agreement did not include the conditional release term, and because appellant was never made aware of the possibility that he might subsequently become subject to the conditional-release term, his plea was not made knowingly and voluntarily.  We disagree.  Recently, this court has held that a defendant’s plea is not invalid merely because the district court did not inform the defendant, at the time the plea was entered, of the subsequent possibility of a conditional-release requirement.  State v. Christopherson, 644 N.W.2d 507, 511 (Minn. App. 2002), review denied (Minn. Jul. 16, 2002).

            In Christopherson, the defendant was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.  644 N.W.2d at 508.  The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual conduct in the second-degree, the district court stayed the imposition of the sentence and placed the defendant on probation.  Id.  The defendant did not agree to a durational limit of his sentence in the plea agreement.  Id.  The defendant subsequently violated the terms of his probation and the district court imposed the original sentence. 509.  This court affirmed the decision of the district court and specifically noted that

during questioning at the plea hearing, [the defendant’s] own lawyer asked him if he understood that the maximum sentence for the crime to which he was pleading guilty was 25 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine.  [The defendant] indicated that he understood. . . .  Other than this indirect reference, the district court never indicated the length of any stayed sentence, should [the defendant] later violate the terms under which his sentence was stayed. 508.  More specifically, this court explained that

Because the imposition of [the defendant’s] sentence was stayed, he was not subject to a conditional release at the time his plea was accepted. Therefore, the fact that the possibility of a conditional release was not mentioned at the time [the defendant] entered his plea did not render the plea invalid, even though a conditional release was later added when his sentence was imposed. 512.  This court noted that the plain language of the statute requires the imposition of the conditional release term only “when a court sentences a person to prison.”  Id. at 510 (quoting Minn. Stat. § 609.109, subd. 7(a) (2000)).  In Christopherson, the imposition of the sentence was stayed and therefore the conditional release term did not apply at the time the plea was entered.  Id.

            Here, the imposition of appellant’s sentence was also stayed and, therefore, the conditional release terminology was not mandated at the time appellant’s plea was entered.  The record reflects that at the plea hearing, the district court asked appellant a number of questions before his plea was accepted.  Specifically, the following discourse occurred at the plea hearing:

Q [The Court]:  Do you understand that . . . the maximum penalty for the crime to which you’re pleading guilty is imprisonment for 15 years, $30,000.00 fine or both?

A [appellant]:  Yes.


            . . . .


Q:  Do you understand that there is basically no plea agreement in this matter.  You are pleading guilty to the count as charged, but your attorney has advised you and the Court that the prosecutor prior to the trial tomorrow would be bringing a motion to charge you with two additional counts?

A:  Yes.


            . . . .


Q:  And by pleading guilty today the prosecutor has agreed that he will not bring any additional counts concerning that alleged victim, do you understand that?

A:  Yes, I do.

Q:  Do you understand that there is no agreement as to what the penalty will be?

A:  Yes. 


There is no record in the plea transcript that the state promised a sentence of a maximum or specific duration in exchange for appellant’s guilty plea.  Appellant’s guilty plea was accepted based upon appellant’s “request to accept the plea of guilty and his request to accept a plea to this charge, rather than a potential conviction of three separate counts of criminal sexual conduct.”  As promised in the plea agreement, the state did not bring additional charges against appellant.  Appellant received exactly what he bargained for in the plea agreement. 

            Appellant relies on State v. Garcia, State v. Jumping Eagle, and State v. Wukawitz, to argue that the district court erred in refusing to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea.  See State v. Garcia, 582 N.W.2d 879, 880-81 (Minn. 1998) (holding that the defendant was entitled to withdraw his guilty plea because his sentence could not have been corrected to include the statutorily mandated ten year conditional release term without exceeding the 81-month sentence that the defendant was promised in the plea agreement); see also State v. Jumping Eagle, 620 N.W.2d 42, 45 (Minn. 2000) (holding that the defendant was entitled either to withdraw his guilty plea or have his original sentence modified so that the maximum period of incarceration, including the imposition of the mandatory conditional release term, would not exceed the 172-month limit to which the defendant agreed pursuant to the plea agreement); State v. Wukawitz, 662 N.W.2d 517, 526 (Minn. 2003) (holding that it was appropriate for the district court to permit the defendant to withdraw his guilty plea because the defendant’s plea “was induced by the promise of a maximum executed sentence of 140 months and that promise is violated by the addition of the conditional release term of 60 months.”).  However, this argument is misplaced because unlike the defendants in Garcia, Jumping Eagle, and Wukawitz, appellant’s guilty plea was not induced by the promise of a sentence of a maximum or specific duration.      

The record reflects that appellant understood at the time he entered his plea that the plea agreement contained no specific agreement as to what his sentence would be.  Rather, appellant’s plea was induced by the state’s promise not to pursue additional charges.  The state fulfilled this promise to appellant and consequently, appellant received what he bargained for.  Appellant’s plea agreement was knowing and voluntary, and the district court did not err in denying appellant’s motion for postconviction relief.



[1] Pursuant to Minn. Stat. §609.109 subd. 7(a) (2000), the applicable law at the time,

[W]hen a court sentences a person to prison for a violation of section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, or 609.345, the court shall provide that after the person has completed the sentence imposed, the Commissioner of Corrections shall place the person on conditional release . . . for five years, minus the time the person served on supervised release.