Submitted on Briefs: May 9, 2018
FROM: District Court of the Twenty-First Judicial District,
In and For the County of Ravalli, Cause No. DC 15-95
Honorable Jeffrey H. Langton, Presiding Judge
Appellant: Chad Wright, Appellate Defender, Haley Connell
Jackson, Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana
Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Mardell
Ployhar, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana William
E. Fulbright, Ravalli County Attorney, Angela Wetzsteon,
Deputy County Attorney, Hamilton, Montana
Jeremiah Shea Justice.
Pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 3(c), Montana Supreme Court
Internal Operating Rules, this case is decided by memorandum
opinion, shall not be cited, and does not serve as precedent.
Its case title, cause number, and disposition shall be
included in this Court's quarterly list of noncitable
cases published in the Pacific Reporter and Montana Reports.
David Sterling Windsor appeals the Order of the Twenty-First
Judicial District Court, Ravalli County, denying his Motion
to Dismiss. We address whether the District Court erred by
denying Windsor's Motion to Dismiss his felony driving
under the influence of alcohol ("DUI") charge which
was premised, in part, on an earlier DUI that was purportedly
dismissed. We affirm.
On April 24, 2015, a retired Montana Highway Patrol Trooper
observed a vehicle ahead of him swerving and crossing into
the oncoming lane of traffic. The vehicle nearly crashed into
a logging truck before the driver pulled into a log yard. The
retired Trooper approached the vehicle and discovered it was
driven by Windsor, who was already passed out at the steering
wheel. A Ravalli County Sheriff's Deputy arrived,
attempted to wake Windsor by knocking on the driver's
seat window, and ultimately opened the vehicle door to make
contact. The Deputy smelled alcohol and observed a large
bottle of whiskey sticking out of a backpack on the
passenger-side floorboard. The Deputy arrested Windsor and
took him to a hospital, where a blood draw showed Windsor had
a .293 blood alcohol concentration. On May 12, 2015, the
State filed an Information charging Windsor with (1) felony
DUI, fourth or subsequent offense, in violation of §
61-8-401, MCA; (2) misdemeanor driving while license
suspended or revoked, in violation of § 61-5-212, MCA;
and (3) careless driving, a misdemeanor, in violation of
§ 61-8-302, MCA. The State later amended the Information
to add a charge of criminal endangerment, a felony, in
violation of § 45-5-207, MCA.
On October 27, 2015, Windsor filed a Motion to Dismiss the
charge of felony DUI, fourth or subsequent offense.
Windsor's prior DUI convictions included a 1984 offense
in Vermont, a 1986 offense in Idaho, a 1994 offense in Idaho,
a 2001 offense in Montana, and a January 2015 offense in
Montana. Windsor argued the 1984 offense, the 1986 offense,
and the 2001 offense did not qualify for purposes of
enhancing his current DUI charge from a misdemeanor to a
felony. The State conceded Windsor's 1984 and 1986 DUI
convictions were not qualifying offenses but maintained the
2001 offense should be considered as a prior conviction for
purposes of the felony DUI statute. The only offense at issue
in this appeal, therefore, is the 2001 DUI offense.
The facts of Windsor's 2001 DUI are as follows: On
December 6, 2000, Windsor pled guilty in Cause No. DC 00-116
to (1) misdemeanor DUI; (2) driving while license suspended or
revoked; (3) driving without liability insurance in effect;
and (4) criminal endangerment. On February 27, 2001, the
District Court entered an amended judgment. The District
Court sentenced Windsor to forty-five days for each of the
first three charges, to run concurrently, and imposed a
six-year deferred sentence for the fourth charge, criminal
endangerment. On January 29, 2007, Windsor petitioned the
District Court to "withdraw the plea of guilty . . .
[because Windsor] has fully complied with all rules, terms
and conditions as set forth in the Order of Deferral, dated
February 27, 2001 . . . ." Windsor's probation and
parole officer signed a statement verifying that Windsor had
"complied with all rules of probation and [the February
27, 2001] Order of Deferral." On February 6, 2007, the
District Court signed a form order ("2007 Order")
that stated, the 2001 "Information is dismissed,"
but did not list any specific offenses.
The District Court denied Windsor's Motion to Dismiss.
The District Court concluded that the 2007 Order was
factually erroneous and should be corrected pursuant to
§ 46-18-116(3), MCA. The District Court entered an
amended order to correct the 2007 Order purportedly
dismissing Windsor's 2001 DUI conviction, concluding the
dismissal applied only to the deferred sentence Windsor
received on his felony criminal endangerment conviction and
not to the three misdemeanor charges, including the 2001 DUI
conviction. The District Court thus determined that
Windsor's 1994 Idaho conviction, his 2001 Montana
conviction, and his January 2015 Montana conviction subject
him to felony DUI in this case.
On January 27, 2016, Windsor pled guilty to the felony DUI
charge, reserving his right to appeal the District
Court's denial of his Motion to Dismiss and the District
Court's amendment of the 2007 Order in DC 00-116. On
March 30, 2016, the District Court held a sentencing hearing
and sentenced Windsor to thirteen months in the Department of
Corrections' ("DOC") custody, with a
requirement that he complete the residential alcohol
treatment program, and to five-years suspended commitment to
DOC, to run consecutive to the thirteen-month sentence. On
June 21, 2016, the District Court entered its written
judgment. Windsor appeals.
We review a district court's conclusions of law and its
interpretation of statutes de novo for correctness. State
v. Petersen, 2011 MT 22, ¶ 8, 359 Mont. 200, 247
P.3d 731; State v. Plouffe, 2014 MT 183, ¶ 18,
375 Mont. 429, 329 P.3d 1255. We will affirm the district
court when it reaches the right result, even if it reaches
the right result for the wrong reason. State v.
Ellison, 2012 MT 50, ¶ 8, 364 Mont. 276, 272 P.3d
"Once a valid sentence is imposed, a [district] court
lacks jurisdiction to modify that sentence absent specific
statutory authority." Gilbert v. State, 2002 MT
258, ¶ 17, 312 Mont. 189, 59 P.3d 24; State v.
Megard, 2006 MT 84, ¶ 17, 332 Mont. 27, 134 P.3d
90. Conversely, a district court "may correct a