Bolton v. Superior Court

In Bolton v. Superior Court, 190 Ariz. 201, 945 P.2d 1332 (App. 1997), the trial court rejected a plea that required probation because former A.R.S. 13-901.01(F) (1997) excluded defendants from Proposition 200 probation if they had previously been convicted two or more times of any offense listed in that subsection. 190 Ariz. at 202, 945 P.2d at 1333. The defendant argued that the trial court erred because the State had failed to allege such convictions as required by A.R.S. 13-604(P) (Supp. 1996), "which provides for enhanced sentencing if prior convictions are 'charged in the indictment or information and admitted or found by the court . . . .'" Id. 190 Ariz. at 202-03, 945 P.2d at 1333-34 (quoting A.R.S. 13-604(P)). On appeal, this court rejected the defendant's argument and held that a trial court may reject a plea requiring Proposition 200 probation if the defendant had prior convictions, even though the State had not alleged them. Id. at 203, 945 P.2d at 1334. Significantly, the court opined as follows: Unlike section 13-604, section 13-901.01 does not require that the State allege prior convictions before they are deemed to exist. Therefore, we hold that whether a defendant is entitled to be sentenced pursuant to section 13-901.01 is a matter of law to be decided by the court; it is not a matter of pleading or plea bargaining to be decided by the State. Id. The court did not address the impact of A.R.S. 13-604.04, which was enacted in 1997.