State v. Leon

In State v. Leon, 197 Ariz. 48,8, 3 P.3d 968, 970 (App. 1999), an offender challenged a sentence enhancement imposed for committing dangerous offenses while on probation for "an offense resulting in serious physical injury or an offense involving the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument." 197 Ariz. 48,1, 3, 3 P.3d at 969, quoting former A.R.S. 13-604.02(A), 1997 Ariz. Sess. Laws, ch. 34, 2 (now A.R.S. 13-708(B)). Leon had been placed on probation for felony disorderly conduct committed by "recklessly handling, displaying or discharging a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument," A.R.S. 13-2904(A)(6), designated at sentencing as a non-dangerous offense. Id.5-8. The Court noted "the designation of Leon's disorderly conduct conviction as nondangerous at sentencing on that charge governed the sentencing range for that offense" pursuant to former 13-604(F), and the "designation of the prior conviction as nondangerous, as opposed to dangerous, could affect the sentencing range under former 13-604 on some offenses in the present case." Id.5. But "based on the plain language" of former 13-604.02(A), we concluded the legislature had "not limited the predicate for enhanced punishment under that provision to release or escape from confinement for offenses considered 'dangerous'" under former 13-604. Id.6. Thus, by distinguishing the language used in the two statutes, the Court determined Leon's sentences were enhanced properly pursuant to 13-604.02(A), notwithstanding the designation of his prior disorderly conduct conviction as non-dangerous, because he was sentenced for dangerous offenses committed while he was on probation for an offense that necessarily "involved the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon." Id.6-8.