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State of Hawaii v. Ray Cardona andres

October 20, 2011

STATE OF HAWAII,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RAY CARDONA ANDRES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (CR. NO. 07-1-0790)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Foley, J.

FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAII REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

FOLEY, PRESIDING J., LEONARD AND REIFURTH, JJ.

OPINION OF THE COURT BY FOLEY, J.

Defendant-Appellant Ray Cardona Andres (Andres) appeals from the Judgment of Conviction and Sentence filed on March 15, 2010 in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (circuit court).*fn1

Andres' sole point on appeal*fn2 is that the circuit court erred in granting the Motion for Sentencing of Repeat Offender (Motion) filed by the State of Hawaii (State) and ordering that Andres was subject to the repeat offender sentencing provisions of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 706-606.5 (1993 & Supp. 2006). Andres contends the circuit court mistakenly relied on his prior federal conviction as a basis for granting the State's Motion.

I.

On April 27, 2007, the State charged Andres with Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Second Degree, in violation of HRS § 712-1242(1)(b)(i) (Supp. 2010).

On May 21, 2008, the State filed the Motion, asking the circuit court to sentence Andres as a repeat offender, pursuant to HRS § 706-606.5(1), to a mandatory minimum term of three years and four months of imprisonment, without the possibility of parole. Andres filed a memorandum in opposition on January 21, 2009.

On July 9, 2009, the circuit court filed its Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order Determining that Defendant Ray Cardona Andres Is Subject to Repeat Offender Sentencing (FOF/COL/Order). The circuit court's determination that Andres was subject to repeat offender sentencing pursuant to HRS § 706- 606.5 was based on Andres' prior federal conviction in 1991 for "Attempt to Possess for Distribution Crystal Methamphetamine, Schedule II controlled substance."

Andres' prior federal conviction was based on a November 28, 1990 charge in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (district court) in Cr. No. 90-01779ACK for "attempt to possess for distribution a quantity in excess of 100 grams of crystal methamphetamine." Andres pled guilty on March 4, 1991. The district court found Andres guilty on July 3, 1991 and entered the Judgment in a Criminal Case on July 8, 1991. The district court determined that Andres was subject to a range of imprisonment from 121 to 151 months.

On November 30, 2009, in the instant case, a jury found Andres guilty of Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Second Degree. The circuit court sentenced Andres on March 15, 2010 to ten years of imprisonment and, after noting special circumstances, to a reduced mandatory minimum of one year pursuant to HRS § 706- 606.5. The circuit court filed the Judgment on March 15, 2010, and Andres timely appealed.

II.

The standard of review for statutory construction is well-established in this jurisdiction. The interpretation of a statute is a question of law, which the appellate court reviews de novo. State v. Heggland, 118 Hawaii 425, 434, 193 P.3d 341, 350 (2008). Where the language of the statute is plain and unambiguous, the appellate ...


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