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State v. Rarangol

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawai‘i

September 27, 2011

STATE of Hawai‘i, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Bonnie Lee Sanidad RARANGOL, Defendant-Appellant.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Unpublished disposition." in the Pacific Reporter. See HI R RAP RULE 35

Appeal from the Circuit Court of The First Circuit (CR. No. 10-1-0641).

Pamela Lundqust, Deputy Public Defender, on the briefs, for Defendant-Appellant.

Delanie D. Prescott— Tate, Deputy Prosecuting, on the briefs, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

FUJISE, Presiding Judge, LEONARD and GINOZA, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Defendant-Appellant Bonnie Lee Sanidad Rarangol (Rarangol) appeals from the Second Amended Judgment of Conviction and Sentence, filed on November 10, 2010, in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Circuit Court).[1]

Rarangol pled no contest to two counts (Count 1 and 3) of Operating a Vehicle After License and Privilege Have Been Suspended or Revoked for Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant, in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 291E-62(a)(1) and/or (a)(2) (Supp.2009), (b)(3) (2007) and two counts (Counts 2 and 4) of Driving Without Motor Vehicle Insurance, in violation of HRS § 431:10C-104(a) (Supp.2009) and 431:100117(a) (Supp.2009).

On Counts 1 and 3, Rarangol was sentenced to one year incarceration, suspended to seven days, a $2000.00 fine for each count, restitution of $1000.00, and permanent license revocation. On Counts 2 and 4, Rarangol was sentenced to three days incarceration, a fine of $500 for each count (converted to three days incarceration), and a 90-day license suspension. The terms were to be served concurrently.

On appeal, Rarangol contends that the Circuit Court erred when it concluded that it could not impose a suspended sentence with respect to her permanent license revocation in Counts 1 and 3.

I. BACKGROUND

Rarangol argued to the Circuit Court that, although HRS § 291E-62(b)(3) required that Rarangol's license be permanently revoked, because she had two or more prior convictions for driving without a license while her license was suspended or revoked, under HRS § 706-605(3) (Supp.2009) and State v. Batson, 99 Hawai‘i 118, 53 P.3d 257 (2002), the court had the discretion to impose a suspended sentence with respect to permanently suspending her license.

The Circuit Court suspended the one-year imprisonment required under HRS § 291E-62(b)(3)(A) to seven days, but stated:

In this case there is a provision of the law that says that your license would be suspended permanently. I don't— I'm not going to substitute my judgment for the legislature's judgment but I am persuaded that I do not have discretion to suspend any portion of your license suspension, so it would be permanent.
Rarangol timely filed this appeal.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

The interpretation of a statute is a question of law reviewable de novo. See, e.g., Carlisle v. One (1) Boat, 119 Hawai‘i 245, 253, 195 P.3d 1177, 1185 (2008).

III. DISCUSSION

At the time Rarangol committed the offenses in Count 1 and 3, HRS § ...


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