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State v. Ceasar

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

October 4, 2016

STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellee,
v.
MARCUS DEAN CEASAR, Appellant.

         Appeal from the Superior Court in Yavapai County No. P1300CR201500887 The Honorable Tina R. Ainley, Judge

          Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix By Terry M. Crist Counsel for Appellee

          Law Office of Nicole Farnum, Phoenix By Nicole T. Farnum Counsel for Appellant

          Judge Kent E. Cattani delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Michael J. Brown and Judge Maurice Portley (retired) joined.

          OPINION

          CATTANI, Judge:

         ¶1 We are asked to address the proper classification of and sentencing range for repetitive misdemeanor offenses under Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") § 13-707(B).1 We hold that, as applied to repeated class 1 misdemeanors, the statute dictates that the offense of conviction remains classified as a class 1 misdemeanor, but the sentence imposed is that of a class 6 felony. Accordingly, and for reasons that follow, we accept the State's concession that Marcus Dean Ceasar's disorderly conduct convictions should have been classified as misdemeanor offenses, and we remand for resentencing on those convictions. We affirm in all other respects.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶2 Ceasar was charged with stalking, aggravated assault, and two counts of disorderly conduct with a prior disorderly conduct conviction within the preceding two years after a July 2015 altercation at a restaurant in Prescott. A jury found him guilty of the four substantive offenses, and after a bench trial to address the prior conviction allegation, the superior court found that he had previously been convicted of disorderly conduct, a class [1] misdemeanor, in November 2014.

         ¶3 The court also found that Ceasar had two Florida convictions for resisting an officer with violence, and that the Florida offenses were historical prior felony convictions under Arizona law. The court thus sentenced Ceasar as a category three repetitive offender, imposing concurrent prison terms for all four offenses, the longest of which is 10 years. As to the disorderly conduct convictions, the court classified the offenses as class 6 felonies and imposed enhanced 3.75-year prison terms. Ceasar timely appealed, and we have jurisdiction under A.R.S. § 13-4033.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Disorderly Conduct Classification and Sentences.

         ¶4 Ceasar argues that the superior court erred by classifying his disorderly conduct convictions as class 6 felonies and sentencing him as a category three repetitive offender on those convictions. Because Ceasar did not object in the superior court, we review only for fundamental, prejudicial error. See State v. Henderson, 210 Ariz. 561, 567-68, ¶¶ 19-20 (2005). The State concedes that the disorderly conduct convictions should have been classified as misdemeanors, that the misclassification resulted in fundamental error, and that the case should be remanded for resentencing. We agree.

         ¶5 Under A.R.S. § 13-707(B), an enhanced sentence may be imposed for misdemeanor convictions under certain circumstances:

A person who is at least eighteen years of age or who has been tried as an adult and who stands convicted of any misdemeanor or petty offense, other than a traffic offense, and who has been convicted of one or more of the same misdemeanors or petty offenses within two years next preceding the date of the present offense shall be sentenced for ...

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