Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
James Christopher Zemke,
Filed February 24, 1998
File No. T697328
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101, and
Jeffrey R. Edblad, Isanti County Attorney, G. Paul Beaumaster, Assistant County Attorney, 555 Eighteenth Avenue S.W., Cambridge, MN 55008 (for appellant)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Leslie Joan Rosenberg, Special Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Short, Presiding Judge, Admundson, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
James Christopher Zemke was charged with driving after cancellation in violation of Minn. Stat. § 171.24, subd. 3 (1996) and speeding in violation of Minn. Stat. § 169.14, subd. 2 (1996). He pleaded guilty to driving after cancellation in exchange for the dismissal of the speeding charge. When the trial court refused to accept the guilty plea and stayed adjudication, the state appealed. We reverse and remand.
The state argues the trial court erred in staying adjudication of Zemke's driving after cancellation charge. The record demonstrates: (1) Zemke paid for insurance and his insurer said he was insured; (2) on November 15, 1996, the state sent Zemke written notice of cancellation of his driver's license that explained reinstatement could occur if his insurer filled out and returned an insurance certificate, and Zemke received the state's notification that he had a valid license; (3) Zemke sent the certificate to his insurer, but the insurance company failed to forward a completed certificate to the state; (4) Zemke never received the state's notification regarding a valid license; (5) as part of a plea agreement, Zemke pleaded to driving after cancellation in exchange for the state dismissing a second count of speeding; (6) the state requested a stayed 90-day jail sentence, plus a $350 fine; and (7) the trial court refused to accept the guilty plea and stayed adjudication for one year on condition Zemke have no same or similar offenses.
Given these facts, we conclude the trial court erred in staying adjudication because disagreement with the prosecutor's exercise of the charging discretion does not constitute "special circumstances" as a matter of law. See Thoma, 569 N.W.2d at 208-09 (holding mitigating circumstances that may justify lenient sentencing and collateral consequence that affect many offenders do not constitute "special circumstances" for purpose of staying adjudication). The trial court should have imposed a minimal fine, no jail time, or sentenced as a petty offense if it believed mitigating factors existed in Zemke's case. Under these circumstances, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Reversed and remanded.