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State of North Dakota v. Joshua Lavern

December 21, 2010

STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA,
PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE
v.
JOSHUA LAVERN CHARBONNEAU,
DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT



Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Donald L. Jorgensen, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: VandeWalle, Chief Justice.

N.D. Supreme CourtState v. Charbonneau,

This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents][Download as WordPerfect]

AFFIRMED.

Opinion of the Court by

State v. Charbonneau

No. 20100089

VandeWalle, Chief Justice.

[¶1] Joshua Lavern Charbonneau appealed from a criminal judgment and sentence entered after a conditional plea of guilty to five drug-related felonies and one driving-related misdemeanor. He argues the district court erred in its interpretation and application of the 20-year mandatory minimum sentence provision of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act ("UCSA"), N.D.C.C. ch. 19-03.1. We affirm.

I.

[¶2] On September 17, 2007, in Rolette County, Charbonneau pleaded guilty and was convicted of three drug-related felonies under the UCSA. He committed two of these felonies on August 25, 2005--one class A felony and one class B felony for delivery of a controlled substance. He committed the third felony, a class B felony for delivery of a controlled substance, on November 16, 2005.

[¶3] In June 2009, the Burleigh County State's Attorney's office charged Charbonneau, by complaint, with ten drug-related offenses and one driving-related misdemeanor committed on or about June 16, 2009. The State later filed an information and second amended information, which charged Charbonneau with five drug-related felonies and one driving-related misdemeanor. The State alleged that two of these felonies--one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine--qualified for a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence because Charbonneau had committed two prior offenses in 2005 and was convicted for those offenses in 2007. On December 16, 2009, Charbonneau entered a conditional plea of guilty to five drug-related felonies and the driving-related misdemeanor. The district court found two of the felonies to be a third offense under the 20-year mandatory minimum sentence provision of the UCSA, and the district court sentenced Charbonneau to two concurrent 20-year mandatory minimum sentences.

II.

[ΒΆ4] Charbonneau argues the district court erred in its interpretation and application of the 20-year mandatory minimum sentence provision of the UCSA. He contends each of his 2005 offenses should have counted as only one prior offense because he was convicted of the three 2005 offenses on the same date in 2007. Specifically, he contends a defendant who has committed prior offenses should receive an elevated sentence only if the defendant receives independent notice of the possibility of an elevated sentence for each separate prior offense, because only then will the defendant have an opportunity to reform each instance of criminal behavior. He urges us to ...


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