may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Filed May 27, 1997
McLeod County District Court
File No. K0-96-115
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; Michael Junge, McLeod County Attorney, Jody Winters, Assistant County Attorney, 830 East 11th Street, Glencoe, MN 55336 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Short, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
Appellant challenges the use of a prior DWI misdemeanor to enhance his current DWI offense to a gross misdemeanor under Minn. Stat. § 169.121, subd. 3(c)(1) (1994). Because the district court did not err in finding a sufficient factual basis for his prior misdemeanor, we affirm.
The requirement protects a defendant from pleading guilty to an offense more serious than defendant's conduct warrants and helps to ensure a defendant is not pleading guilty due to improper pressures or a misunderstanding of the charge.
Id. (citations omitted).
The district court must independently determine if a plea has a factual basis even if the defendant validly waived his right to counsel. Id. at 798. Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.02 requires the district court or counsel to question the defendant as to whether he
understands that the crime charged is (name the offense) committed on or about (Month) (Day) (Year) in County, Minnesota (and that the defendant is pleading guilty to the crime of (name of offense)).
Additional information, including police records, may be offered or read into the record to supplement the inquiry. See State v. Stewart, 360 N.W.2d 463, 465 (Minn. App. 1985).
In Bloemke, this court prohibited enhancement of a DWI offense to a gross misdemeanor because the record of the guilty plea for the prior DWI offense failed to provide a sufficient factual basis. 412 N.W.2d at 10. There, the district court inquired only as to the breath test results. Id. The record did not reflect the date or location of the offense, or facts indicating that the defendant was driving a motor vehicle at the time of the offense. Id.
In this case, when appellant appeared before the district court on the prior charge, he was informed of his rights, and he stated that he wished to plead guilty. He does not dispute that he waived his right to counsel at that time. Appellant then admitted driving a motor vehicle on September 3, 1995, while under the influence of alcohol. Although the district court did not state the year in its inquiry, this information is apparent because the plea hearing occurred in the same month of the offense.
The court did not specifically ask about the location of the offense, the alcohol test results, or what appellant meant by being "under the influence of alcohol." We are troubled by the district court's minimal inquiry; however, the court did refer to the charge as a "Glencoe charge" and stated that appellant "had a .18." While we may disagree with the manner in which the prior court handled the plea, we conclude that it provided a sufficient factual basis for enhancing the current offense to a gross misdemeanor.