State v. Perencevic

In State v. Perencevic, 54 Wn. App. 585, 774 P.2d 558 (Wash. App. 1989), the defendant was arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting and sentenced to thirty days in jail. 774 P.2d at 558. After the defendant had been in jail for a few days, his real name was discovered. Id. Also discovered were numerous felony and misdemeanor warrants for his arrest. Id. Previously, Perencevic had been convicted of second degree theft. Id. He was also convicted of second degree possession of stolen property, two counts of "taking a motor vehicle without permission," and one count of "attempting to elude a police officer." Id. For the four offenses, Perencevic was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment. Although Perencevic had completed serving his confinement, "he was still subject to community supervision." Id. Shortly after his arrest, two felony warrants alleging violation of probation were issued for Perencevic's arrest. Id. While Perencevic was in jail, someone attempted to dig through a wall of the jail. 774 P.2d at 559. An inmate testified he observed Perencevic cutting the wall; Perencevic was charged with attempted first degree escape. Id. The issue was whether Perencevic was "detained pursuant to a felony conviction" as required for first degree escape. Id. Perencevic argued the warrant alleging a "probation violation" was issued for a matter for which he had completed his sentence. Id. Perencevic argued the alleged probation violation "did not reinstate a sentence of confinement." Id. The appellate court stated state law "permits a court to modify its judgment and sentence and impose further punishment if, after hearing, it finds that an offender has violated a condition or requirement of the sentence." 774 P.2d at 559-60 ; see also N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-07(6) (North Dakota's comparable provision). Perencevic argued his detention was analogous to being charged with a crime instead of "pursuant to a conviction." 774 P.2d at 560. The court held: "Here, the warrants arose out of Perencevic's prior felony convictions. The warrants also related to the punishment or sentence he received on his felony convictions because they were issued due to his failure to complete certain requirements of community supervision which are as much a part of the punishment and sentence as detention time. Because there was a causal relationship between the warrants and the prior felony convictions, we hold that Perencevic's detention for his alleged supervision violation was "pursuant to a conviction of a felony". Thus, Perencevic was properly found guilty of attempted escape in the first degree." Id.