CAROLINE K. SWARLZ, Appellant,
MUNICIPALILY OF ANCHORAGE, Appellee.
from the District Court No. 3AN-14-6816 CR, Third Judicial
District, Anchorage, Jennifer Henderson, Judge.
L. Goldberg, Denali Law Group, Anchorage, for the Appellant.
E. Stanley, Assistant Municipal Prosecutor, and William D.
Falsey, Municipal Attorney, Anchorage, for the Appellee.
Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, and Allard and Wollenberg,
January 2015, Caroline K. Swartz pleaded guilty to driving
while license suspended or revoked in violation of the
Anchorage Municipal Code. Pursuant to a Criminal Rule 11
agreement, Swartz was sentenced to 90 days' imprisonment
with 90 days suspended, a $500 fine with $250 suspended, 3
years' probation, and 80 hours of mandatory community
work service - i.e., community work service hours
that were mandated by the municipal ordinance as a condition
of her probation.
of her plea agreement, Swartz agreed that she would complete
her community work service hours within six months, and she
further agreed that any uncompleted portion of the 80 hours
of community work service "will convert to jail" if
it was not completed by the court's deadline. No
conversion rate was specified in the plea agreement.
ultimately completed only 8 hours of the mandated 80 hours of
community work service, leaving 72 hours uncompleted. The
Municipality petitioned the court to revoke Swartz's
probation and argued that the 72 hours of community work
service should be automatically converted into 9 days in jail
pursuant to the plea agreement.
court held a hearing on the petition in February 2017. At
that hearing, Swartz argued that the court had no authority
to convert her community work service to jail time because
the Alaska legislature had recently amended state law to
prevent such conversions. Swartz also argued that conversion
to jail time was impermissible even before the change of law
under our 2000 decision, State v. Fogg The Municipality
argued that the change in law did not apply to Swartz's
case and that Fogg was inapplicable. According to
the Municipality, the court had the authority to convert
community work service hours into j ail time under the
municipal code. The Municipality also emphasized that Swartz
had agreed to the conversion as part of her original plea
district court judge agreed with the Municipality and imposed
9 days of jail time for the 72 hours of uncompleted community
work service. Swartz now appeals, arguing that the 9 days of
jail time was unlawfully imposed. For the reasons explained
here, we conclude that the court erred in imposing the 9 days
of jail time.
we conclude that the court erred when it imposed 9 days of
2016, the Alaska legislature amended As 12.55.055 to
expressly prohibit courts from converting uncompleted
community work service hours into jail time.Subsection (g) of
AS 12.55.055 now declares:
(g) The court may not
(1) offer a defendant convicted ofan offense the option of
serving jail time in lieu of performing uncompleted community