This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

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








John A. Whitelaw, petitioner,





State of Minnesota,




Filed September 25, 2007


Toussaint, Chief Judge


Hennepin County District Court

File Nos. 03086672, 01015133, 01092615



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


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


Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Michael K. Walz, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Wright, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge

Appellant John A. Whitelaw challenges the postconviction court’s denial of his petition to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that the postconviction court abused its discretion because his plea was not made intelligently.  Because the postconviction court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.


We will reverse a postconviction court’s determination of whether to permit a withdrawal of a guilty plea only if the postconviction court abused its discretion.  Barragan v. State, 583 N.W.2d 571, 572 (Minn. 1998).  A postconviction court does not abuse its discretion if the record contains sufficient evidence to sustain the district court’s findings.  State v. Rainer, 502 N.W.2d 784, 787 (Minn. 1993).

            A defendant has the right to withdraw a guilty plea if the defendant can show “that withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice.”  Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 1.  If a guilty plea is not “accurate, voluntary, and intelligent (i.e., knowingly and understandingly made),” manifest injustice occurs and the plea may be withdrawn.  Perkins v. State, 559 N.W.2d 678, 688 (Minn. 1997).  A plea must be entered intelligently “to insure that the defendant understands the charges, the rights being waived and the consequences of the guilty plea.”  Brown v. State, 449 N.W.2d 180, 182 (Minn. 1989).

            Appellant argues that his plea was not made intelligently because he did not understand the meaning of the mandatory conditional-release period included in his plea agreement and sentence.  We disagree. 

The record shows that appellant pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Minn. Stat. § 609.345 (2004).  A plea agreement placed appellant on probation with a stay of execution of a 21-month term.  The agreement included the mandatory five-year conditional-release period.  Minn. Stat. § 609.109, subd. 7(a) (2004).  Appellant’s attorney agreed with the terms of the agreement, and appellant also indicated that he understood and discussed the agreement with his attorney.  The district court also reminded appellant at sentencing that the conditional-release period attaches if his probation is revoked, and neither appellant nor his attorney objected.  Appellant challenged his plea after the district court revoked his probation.

Our review of the record fully supports the postconviction court’s finding that “[appellant] knew of and agreed to the conditional release term” as a part of his plea agreement.  The postconviction court further explained that it

reviewed the transcript of the plea hearing and finds that the conditional release term was expressly covered.  The conditional release term was noted on the record at the sentencing hearing and when [appellant] and his counsel were given an opportunity to speak, neither made any statement concerning the conditional release term.  The judgment included the conditional release term. 


Indeed, the plea agreement contains the term, and appellant indicated his understanding of the agreement after discussing it with his attorney.  Moreover, neither appellant nor his attorney objected at sentencing when reminded about the conditional-release period.  See State ex rel Rankin v. Tahash, 276 Minn. 97, 101, 149 N.W.2d 12, 15 (1967) (stating that it is presumed that defendant who pleads guilty with assistance of counsel has been advised of rights and consequences of plea).  

We conclude that there is sufficient evidence in the record to sustain the postconviction court’s finding that appellant understood the terms of his plea agreement, and therefore the postconviction court did not abuse its discretion by denying appellant’s postconviction petition to withdraw his guilty plea.