Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant rear-ended a car stopped at a toll booth, causing the car to ignite. Appellant was arrested for driving while intoxicated and convicted by the jury. During the sentencing hearing, the trial court ruled inadmissible the state’s evidence that purportedly showed appellant was previously convicted of the DWI offense alleged in the enhancement paragraph because of insufficient identification marks on the exhibit. No evidence, therefore, established that appellant had been previously convicted for DWI. At the close of evidence, the trial court made no oral pronouncements concerning its finding the two punishment enhancement paragraphs true or not true. The trial court’s written judgment of conviction shows that appellant was sentenced for a Class B misdemeanor DWI; that the trial court found not true the enhancement paragraph alleging that appellant had a prior conviction for DWI; and that the trial court found true the enhancement paragraph alleging that appellant had an open alcoholic beverage container during the commission of the current DWI offense. HOLDING:Affirmed. The oral pronouncement and written judgment consistently show that appellant was convicted for and received the maximum possible sentence for a Class B misdemeanor. Moreover, appellant had been charged with a Class A misdemeanor and thus could be characterized as being considered for a Class A misdemeanor, even though the trial court was not going to assess appellant’s punishment as a Class A misdemeanor, having found the evidence insufficient to prove the enhancement paragraph that alleged the prior DWI conviction. Therefore, the record does not show that appellant received either a void sentence or a sentence outside the punishment range for the offense. The record shows that although the trial court did not make any oral pronouncement regarding the open container paragraph, the court found the paragraph true in the written judgment. Under these circumstances, in which the trial court has no duty to make an oral finding of true or not true on an enhancement paragraph, we hold that the finding of true recited in the written judgment of conviction is not inconsistent with the trial court’s oral silence concerning the finding. OPINION:Alcala, J.; Radack, C.J., Alcala and Bland, JJ..

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.