Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Lara

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

July 5, 2016

STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellee,
v.
MONICA LARA, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Superior Court in Yuma County No. S1400CR201400967 The Honorable Maria Elena Cruz, Judge

          Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Joseph T. Maziarz Counsel for Appellee

          Yuma County Public Defender's Office, Yuma By Edward F. McGee Counsel for Appellant

          Presiding Judge Margaret H. Downie delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Judge Kent E. Cattani and Judge Donn Kessler joined.

          OPINION

          DOWNIE, JUDGE.

         ¶1 Monica Lara appeals her shoplifting conviction. We hold that in this felony prosecution brought pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 13-1805(I), Lara's prior shoplifting convictions are elements of the charged offense, not sentencing enhancements. As a result, the superior court properly declined to bifurcate the trial, and we affirm the ensuing conviction and sentence.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2 Lara was charged with one count of shoplifting with two or more prior convictions - a class 4 felony in violation of A.R.S. § 13-1805(A), (I). Specifically, the State alleged that Lara stole merchandise from a Walmart store and that she had been convicted of shoplifting twice previously within the past five years.

         ¶3 Lara moved to bifurcate the trial so that jurors would learn of her prior convictions only if they first found her guilty of "misdemeanor shoplifting." The superior court denied the motion, concluding Lara's prior convictions were elements of the charged offense.

         ¶4 At trial, witnesses testified that Lara shoplifted the items in question and that she admitted doing so when confronted with the stolen merchandise. The State introduced certified copies of Lara's 2009 and 2012 shoplifting convictions. The jury found her guilty as charged.

         ¶5 Lara timely appealed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. §§ 12-120.21(A)(1) and 13-4031.

         DISCUSSION

         ¶6 Lara contends her prior shoplifting convictions are sentencing enhancements, not elements of the charged offense. As such, she argues, the court should have ordered bifurcation because she was entitled to have the jury first determine whether she was guilty of shoplifting before the State introduced evidence of her prior convictions.

         ¶7 Whether a prior conviction is an element of an offense is an issue of statutory interpretation that we review de novo. See Robbins v. Darrow,214 Ariz. 91, 93, ΒΆ 12 (App. 2006). An element is any constituent part of an offense that the prosecution must ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.