Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory
interpretation is a question of law that an appellate court
resolves independently of the trial court.
Sentences: Appeal and Error. Whether an
appellate court is reviewing a sentence for its leniency or
its excessiveness, a sentence imposed by a district court
that is within the statutorily prescribed limits will not be
disturbed on appeal unless there appears to be an abuse of
the trial court's discretion.
Judges: Words and Phrases. A judicial abuse
of discretion exists only when the reasons or rulings of a
trial judge are clearly untenable, unfairly depriving a
litigant of a substantial right and denying a just result in
matters submitted for disposition.
Statutes: Legislature: Intent. The
fundamental objective of statutory interpretation is to
ascertain and carry out the Legislature's intent.
Criminal Law: Statutes: Legislature: Intent.
In reading a penal statute, a court must determine and give
effect to the purpose and intent of the Legislature as
ascertained from the entire language of the statute
considered in its plain, ordinary, and popular sense.
Licenses and Permits: Revocation: Proof.
Proof of reinstatement of a suspended operator's license
under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-4, 108(2) (Supp. 2017)
requires that a driver with a previously suspended license
show that his or her license is no longer suspended
and that his or her license validly and effectively
allows the holder to operate a motor vehicle.
Sentences: Appeal and Error. When a trial
court's sentence is within the statutory guidelines, the
sentence will only be disturbed by an appellate court when an
abuse of discretion is shown.
Sentences. When imposing a sentence, a
sentencing judge should consider the defendant's (1) age,
(2) mentality, (3) education and experience, (4) social and
cultural background, (5) past criminal record or [301 Neb.
1028] record of law-abiding conduct, and (6) motivation for
the offense, as well as (7) the nature of the offense, and
(8) the violence involved in the commission of the crime.
The appropriateness of a sentence is necessarily a subjective
judgment and includes the sentencing judge's observation
of the defendant's demeanor and attitude and all the
facts and circumstances surrounding the defendant's life.
from the District Court for Thurston County, John E. Samson,
Judge, on appeal thereto from the County Court for Thurston
County, Douglas L. Luebe, Judge.
Y. Buenrostro, of Castrejon & Buenrostro, L.L.C., for
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, Nathan A. Liss, Derek
Bral, Senior Certified Law Student, and, on brief, Sarah E.
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke, Papik,
and Freudenberg, JJ.
to a plea agreement with the State, Gabriel Ralios pled
guilty to operating a motor vehicle during a time of
suspension, a Class III misdemeanor, and speeding. On
November 2, 2017, the county court accepted Ralios' pleas
and, after hearing argument on sentencing, the court
sentenced him to 75 days in jail pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat.
§ 60-4, 108(2) (Supp. 2017). Ralios appealed his
sentence to the district court sitting as an intermediate
court of appeal, assigning that the county court erred in
sentencing Ralios to 75 days in jail instead of a fine of
$100 under § 60-4, 108(2). The district court affirmed
the county court's sentence. The central issue on appeal
is whether Ralios showed "proof of reinstatement of his
. . . suspended operator's license" under §
Neb. 1029] BACKGROUND
4, 2017, a Thurston County deputy sheriff clocked Ralios'
car traveling over 80 m.p.h. in a 60-m.p.h. zone. Upon
stopping the vehicle, the deputy determined Ralios'
license was suspended in the State of Missouri. He was
charged with speeding and with operating a motor vehicle
during a time of suspension.
November 2, 2017, Ralios entered into a plea agreement. The
State agreed to stand silent at sentencing in exchange for
Ralios' pleas on both counts. The court accepted
Ralios' pleas and proceeded immediately to sentencing.
the sentencing hearing, Ralios presented a letter from the
Missouri Driver License Bureau stating that Ralios was
"not currently suspended or revoked in the state of
Missouri" as of October 3, 2017. He argued that this
letter was sufficient to establish that his license was
reinstated and that therefore, the maximum punishment
authorized by statute was a $100 fine under § 60-4,