The Appellate Group

State v. Brotherson

State v. Brotherson, 2020 UT App 97 (Orme, J.)


A defendant pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and burglary, and after successfully completing his probation, sought a reduction in the level of his convictions under Utah Code § 76-3-402. The district court denied the motion. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that it was not in the interests of justice to reduce the defendant’s convictions. The district court considered the factors in favor of reduction and balanced them against the severity of the crime, the impact on the victim, the defendant’s attempts to minimize his behavior, and the defendant’s failure to take responsibility for his behavior.
  • The State did not breach its plea agreement, where it agreed to stipulate to a 402 reduction. The district court rejecting that stipulation had no bearing on the State’s performance of the agreement, and nothing in the agreement prevented the State from taking an inconsistent position on appeal to defend the district court’s exercise of its discretion.

Read the full court opinion