from the District Court No. 4FA-13-3054 CR, Fourth Judicial
District, Fairbanks, Benjamin Seekins, Judge.
Kalytiak Davis, Anchorage, for the Appellant.
Patricia L. Haines, Assistant District Attorney, Fairbanks,
and Craig W. Richards, Attorney General, Juneau, for the
Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Coats, Senior Judge,
Suddock, Superior Court Judge. [**]
Francis Parson was convicted of fourth-degree
assault for striking and injuring his wife. Parson
requested a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS), but he
was instead sentenced to 60 days with 60 days suspended. He
now appeals the district court's denial of his request
for an SIS.
State asserts that Parson has no right to appeal the denial
of his request for an SIS, and that this Court does not have
jurisdiction to hear Parson's appeal, because
Parson's active (i.e., unsuspended) term of
imprisonment does not exceed 120 days.
reasons explained in this decision, we conclude that we have
jurisdiction to hear this appeal. We also conclude that the
district court was not clearly mistaken when it denied
Parson's request for an SIS. We therefore affirm
Court has jurisdiction to hear Parson's appeal
explained, Parson was sentenced to 60 days with all 60
suspended. The State argues that under AS 12.55.120(a) and
Alaska Appellate Rule 215(a)(1), Parson has no right to
appeal his misdemeanor sentence, and this Court has no
jurisdiction to resolve his appeal, because Parson was
sentenced to less than 120 days to serve. In fact, Parson was
not sentenced to serve any time, because all of his imposed
jail time was suspended.
jurisdiction to hear misdemeanor sentence appeals is
established by AS 22.07.020(c). This statute provides in
pertinent part that we have jurisdiction to review "the
final decision of the district court on a sentence imposed by
it if the sentence exceeds 120 days of unsuspended
incarceration for a misdemeanor offense."
recently, in Maguire v. State, we reaffirmed the
position we earlier had taken in Allen v. Anchorage:
we have jurisdiction to review "non-term-of-imprisonment
sentence appeals (e.g., appeals challenging
probation conditions, fines, forfeitures, and license
revocations)" regardless of whether the defendant's
active term of imprisonment exceeds 120 days. We conclude that
a challenge to a sentencing court's denial of an SIS
falls within this same category.
important reason why an SIS is a
"non-term-of-imprisonment" aspect of a
defendant's sentence is that an SIS gives the defendant
the opportunity, regardless of the length of the sentence
imposed, to have the conviction set aside if the defendant
successfully completes their SIS probation. As we have
observed, because of this opportunity, an SIS is "a
unique disposition." We have also observed that in appeals
challenging probation conditions, fines, forfeitures, and
license revocations, we are "more likely [than the
supreme court] to be familiar with the sentences imposed in
criminal cases across the State" and to recognize when a
sentencing court has erred with regard to those
issues. We are similarly more likely to be able to
recognize when a sentencing court has erroneously denied or
granted a suspended imposition of sentence.
therefore conclude that we have jurisdiction over appeals
challenging a sentencing court's decision to deny a
request for an SIS, ...