Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Commonwealth v. Moore

Supreme Court of Kentucky

April 26, 2018

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY APPELLANT
v.
DAVID J. MOORE APPELLEE

          ON REVIEW FROM COURT OF APPEALS CASE NO. 2014-CA-001444-MR CARROLL CIRCUIT COURT NO. 14-XX-00004

          COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Andy Beshear Attorney General of Kentucky Jason Bradley Moore Assistant Attorney General

          COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: John Gerhart Landon Assistant Public Advocate

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

         The Commonwealth of Kentucky appeals from an opinion of the Court of Appeals, which vacated and remanded the Carroll Circuit Court's affirmation of the Carroll District Court's imposition, of a fine upon Appellee David J. Moore for driving under the influence (DUI), first offense. We reverse the Court of Appeals and reinstate the judgment of the Carroll District Court ordering payment of the fine.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Moore was arrested on April 11, 2013, for third-degree criminal mischief and DUI, first offense. Moore had qualified as indigent for the appointment of counsel, and counsel had been appointed for him. In the pretrial stages of his prosecution, Moore asked that he be permitted to represent himself. After the Faretta[1] hearing, he accepted hybrid representation. Appointed counsel conducted pretrial procedures. When the case went to trial in the Carroll District Court, appointed counsel remained on standby as Moore represented himself.

         Although the jury acquitted Moore of criminal mischief, it convicted him on the DUI charge and recommended for his punishment a fine of $200. The trial court imposed the $200 fine and, in addition, assessed the $375 service fee mandated by KRS 189A.050. Because of his indigency, the district court waived the imposition of court costs and permitted him to proceed in forma pauperis. The fine and service fee totaling $575 were not waived but the trial court permitted Moore to pay them in monthly installments of at least $25.

         Moore appealed to the Carroll Circuit Court arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction and that the fine and service fee totaling $575 were erroneously imposed because he was indigent. The circuit court affirmed the trial verdict and the assessment of the fine and service fee. The circuit court reasoned that, since the determination of indigency must be made at every stage of the proceeding, the district court implicitly found at sentencing that Moore was not indigent, despite his prior appointment of counsel and the waiver of court costs.

         On discretionary review, the Court of Appeals vacated the imposition of the entire $575. We granted the Commonwealth's motion for further review. As a result, we now reverse the Court of Appeals and reinstate the Carroll District Court's order imposing the fine and the service fee.

         The sole issue before us involves the interpretation of statutes that govern the imposition of fines for misdemeanor offenses and specifically for DUI, first offense, and the statutes exempting certain indigent offenders from . fines. We also examine the statute imposing the DUI service fee. The interpretation of statutes is a matter of law which we review de novo. Bob Hook Chevrolet Isuzu, Inc. v. Transportation Cabinet, 983 S.W.2d 488, 490 (Ky. 1998). We afford no deference to the statutory interpretations of the lower courts. Cinelli v. Ward, 997 S.W.2d 474, 476 (Ky. App. 1998).

         II. ANALYSIS

         The Court of Appeals concluded that because a first offense DUI is a misdemeanor, and because Moore qualifies as an indigent person under KRS Chapter 31, he was entitled to the waiver of fines for indigent persons set forth in KRS 534.040.[2] We are constrained to disagree.

         A. THE INDIGENCY EXEMPTION PROVIDED BY KRS 534.040(4) IS NOT AVAILABLE TO MOORE.

         KRS 534.040, titled "Fines for misdemeanors and violations" provides in pertinent part:

(2) Except as otherwise provided for an offense defined outside this code, a person who has been convicted of any offense other than a felony shall be sentenced, in addition to any other punishment imposed upon ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.