may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Eric NMN Britten,
Filed January 19, 1999
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 97049824
Michael A. Hatch, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Gayle C. Hendley, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Lyonel Norris, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Anderson, Judge.
Appellant Eric Britten contends the district court erred in denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Appellant claims he should be allowed to withdraw his plea because, although he agreed to the presumptive sentences for two offenses, he mistakenly believed the two sentences would be based on the same criminal history score. We affirm.
A criminal defendant does not have an absolute right to withdraw a guilty plea. Kim v. State, 434 N.W.2d 263, 266 (Minn. 1989). Whether to allow the withdrawal is in the discretion of the trial court, and will only be reversed "in the rare case in which the appellate court can fairly conclude that the trial court abused its discretion." Id.
To be valid, a guilty plea must be accurate, voluntary, and intelligent. State v. Kaiser, 469 N.W.2d 316, 319 (Minn. 1991). In its discretion, the trial court may allow withdrawal of a guilty plea before sentencing if the defendant demonstrates that it is fair and just to do so. Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.05, subd. 2. See also Kim, 434 N.W.2d at 267 (implying that burden is on defendant to demonstrate a fair and just reason to allow withdrawal of his plea).
Appellant pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault. He claims he thought the same criminal history score would apply to both counts, resulting in a total sentence of 98 months. Instead, the criminal history point from the first count was applied to the second count, resulting in a total sentence of 108 months. Before sentencing, appellant moved to withdraw his guilty plea based upon his misunderstanding of the sentence. Appellant argues that his misunderstanding is a fair and just reason that warrants a withdrawal of his guilty plea. We disagree.
When appellant pleaded guilty, he agreed to guideline sentencing on both counts without reference to the specific sentence. Further, appellant had access to all the information concerning his sentencing when he made the plea agreement. Therefore, appellant's plea was accurate, knowing and voluntary, and thus valid. We conclude the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant's motion to withdraw his plea.