Appeal from the Superior Court, Third Judicial District, Anchorage, Michael Spaan, Judge. Court of Appeals No. A-10741 Trial Court No. 3AN-09-7121 CR
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Coats, Chief Judge.
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Before: Coats, Chief Judge, and Mannheimer and Bolger, Judges.
Douglas Bryan Lamkin pled guilty to one count of assault in the third degree (a class C felony)*fn1 and driving under the influence.*fn2 At sentencing, Lamkin asked the court to suspend the imposition of his sentence. The State opposed, arguing that the court was prohibited by statute from suspending the imposition of sentence for a felony assault. Superior Court Judge Michael Spaan concluded that Lamkin, a first-time offender, would have been a suitable candidate for a suspended imposition of sentence, but he concluded that he was prohibited from suspending the imposition of Lamkin's sentence by AS 12.55.085(f). Lamkin appeals. We agree with the superior court's interpretation of the statute. We therefore affirm.
The resolution of this issue requires us to interpret two statutes. The first statute, AS 12.55.125(e)(1), sets out the penalties for first felony offenders convicted of class C felonies. The statute provides a presumptive range of sentences (in most cases, zero to two years of imprisonment). It also provides that "a defendant sentenced under this paragraph may, if the court finds it appropriate, be granted a suspended imposition of sentence under AS 12.55.085 ... ."
The second statute in question is AS 12.55.085. The first part of the statute states that "[e]xcept as provided in (f) of this section, if it appears that there are circumstances in mitigation of the punishment, or that the ends of justice will be served, the court may, in its discretion, suspend the imposition of sentence ... ."
AS 12.55.085(f) sets out restrictions on a court's ability to suspend the imposition of sentence:
The court may not suspend the imposition of sentence of a person who
(1) is convicted of [certain crimes against the person, including Lamkin's offense, ...