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Ramirez v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 28, 2016

ARMANDO RAMIREZ, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable Catherine R. Rogers, Judge

         Representing Appellant:

          Office of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; and Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

         Representing Appellee:

          Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Samuel S. Voyles, Assistant Attorney General.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.

          HILL, Justice.

         [¶1] Armando Ramirez entered a conditional guilty plea to a fourth offense felony DWUI charge. Ramirez claims his latest DWUI does not qualify as his fourth offense in the last ten years, because although the offense occurred within ten years of his oldest relevant prior conviction, he did not plead guilty until after ten years had passed. We will affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] We rephrase the issue as follows:

Whether the felony penalty under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 31-5-233 requires three or more prior convictions within ten years of the conviction on the current charge?

         FACTS

         [¶3] On July 11, 2013, Armando Ramirez drove a vehicle involved in an accident in Cheyenne. Five days later, he was charged with a felony DWUI, his fourth within 10 years according to the charging documents. Three prior convictions were listed in the criminal information: (1) A DWUI conviction dated April 6, 2005, for an offense occurring March 9, 2005; (2) a DWUI conviction dated October 24, 2005, for an offense occurring August 10, 2005; and (3) a DWUI conviction dated December 15, 2008, for an offense occurring August 30, 2008.

         [¶4] After several continuances, Ramirez filed a motion to dismiss in May of 2015. He argued that a felony prosecution was improper because 10 years had passed since his conviction from April of 2005. Therefore, he could not be prosecuted for having ...


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