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Sayre v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division

February 20, 2018

PATRICK H. SAYRE, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sullivan County The Honorable Tracey A. Mason-White, Judge

          Before Lisa White Hardwick, P.J., and Victor C. Howard and Alok Ahuja, JJ.

          Alok Ahuja, Judge.

         Patrick Sayre pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Sullivan County to one count of driving while intoxicated, and one count of driving without a valid license. Each offense was enhanced to a felony based on Sayre's prior convictions of similar offenses. Sayre filed a motion for post-conviction relief under Supreme Court Rule 24.035. In his amended motion, Sayre claimed that the circuit court had erroneously enhanced his two offenses to felonies. He asked that the court vacate his sentences, and resentence him for misdemeanors. The circuit court denied Sayre's motion, and he appeals. We affirm in part and reverse in part, and remand the case for Sayre to be resentenced on the driving without a valid license offense as a misdemeanor.

         Factual Background

         On December 9, 2013, Sayre was charged by information with the class B felony of driving while intoxicated in violation of § 577.010[1] (Count I), and the class D felony of driving without a valid license in violation of § 302.020 (Count II). The charges were based on an incident occurring on August 30, 2013. The charging instrument asserted that Count I should be enhanced to a class B felony because, between 1985 and 1996, Sayre had been convicted of ten prior intoxication-related traffic offenses. See §§ 577.023.1(2), .5. The information alleged that Count II should be enhanced to a class D felony because Sayre had three prior convictions for driving without a valid license. See § 302.020.3.

         On January 23, 2014, Sayre entered pleas of guilty to both charges. The circuit court questioned Sayre at the plea hearing to ensure that his guilty pleas were made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. The court questioned Sayre and his counsel as follows:

THE COURT: Do you understand that you are charged before me today by information for class B felony of driving while intoxicated?
SAYRE: Yes, ma'am.
THE COURT: Have you discussed this charge with your attorney?
SAYRE: Yes, ma'am.
THE COURT: Has your attorney explained the charge that you believe you understand it?
SAYRE: Yes, ma'am.
THE COURT: [Counsel], have you discussed the charge with your client and believe he understands the charge?
[COUNSEL]: Yes, Your Honor, I believe he understands the charge.

         After being reminded that Sayre was also charged with Count II, the court proceeded:

THE COURT: There is a Count II. . . . Count II being Class D felony of driving without a valid license. You understand that, Mr. Sayre?
SAYRE: Yes, ma'am.

         The State then described the underlying incident, in which a law enforcement officer encountered Sayre in his vehicle on August 30, 2013. With respect to the driving while intoxicated offense, the prosecutor described the circumstances which led the officer to conclude at the scene that Sayre was intoxicated, and recounted that Sayre's blood-alcohol content was measured at .166 percent using a breathalyzer. To support the driving without a valid license offense, the prosecutor explained that Sayre stated that "I don't have a driver's license" when asked to produce one. The prosecutor's recitation of the factual basis for the charges concluded with the statement: "Mr. Sayre was arrested for DWI, has ten prior convictions for driving while intoxicated."

         After the State's description of the underlying facts, the circuit court asked Sayre whether he agreed with the prosecution's recitation:

THE COURT: You've heard the prosecutor's statement as to what the facts would be if this case were to go to trial on both ...

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