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Young v. State

Supreme Court of West Virginia

March 26, 2019

JAMES W. YOUNG, JR., Petitioner
v.
STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA AND DEBRA DITTO, MAGISTRATE OF MORGAN COUNTY, Respondents

          Submitted: March 6, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Morgan County Honorable Laura Faircloth, Judge Civil Action No. 33-2017-P-29

          Dylan K. Batten, Esq. Stedman & Ridell Martinsburg, West Virginia Attorney for Petitioner

          Patrick Morrisey, Esq. Attorney General Zachary Viglianco, Esq. Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for the State of West Virginia

          Courtney S. Moore, Esq. Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of Morgan County, West Virginia Berkeley Springs, West Virginia Attorney for Respondent

         SYLLABUS

         1. "The primary rule of statutory construction is to ascertain and give effect to the intention of the Legislature." Syllabus point 8, Vest v. Cobb, 138 W.Va. 660, 76 S.E.2d 885 (1953).

         2. "When two statutes relate to the same general subject, and the two statutes are not in conflict, they are to be read In pari materia." Syllabus point 2, Tug Valley Recovery Center., Inc. v. Mingo County Commission, 164 W.Va. 94, 261 S.E.2d 165 (1979).

         3. "The general rule of statutory construction requires that a specific statute be given precedence over a general statute relating to the same subject matter where the two cannot be reconciled." Syllabus point 1, UMWA by Trumka v. Kingdon, 174 W.Va. 330, 325 S.E.2d 120 (1984).

         4. A person charged with the crime of driving under the influence (DUI), pursuant to Chapter 17C, Article 5 of the West Virginia Code, may only seek deferred adjudication as permitted by W.Va. Code § 17C-5-2b (2016). The deferred adjudication allowed under W.Va. Code § 61-11-22a (2016) is not available to a person charged with a DUI offense.

          HUTCHISON JUSTICE

         This appeal was brought by the Petitioner, James W. Young, Jr., from the October 10, 2017, order of the Circuit Court of Morgan County that granted relief to the State in a writ of prohibition proceeding. The circuit court's order prohibited enforcement of an order by a Morgan County magistrate that granted deferred adjudication to the Petitioner, in a criminal prosecution for driving under the influence (DUI) second offense.[1]In this appeal, the Petitioner alleges the circuit court applied the wrong statute in order to grant relief to the State. Upon careful review of the briefs, the appendix record, the arguments of the parties, and the applicable legal authority, we affirm.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In the afternoon of April 27, 2017, the Petitioner was involved in a single-vehicle accident in Morgan County, West Virginia. A deputy sheriff responded to the scene of the accident. The deputy found the Petitioner's vehicle off the road and stuck in vegetation. After speaking with the Petitioner, the deputy had reason to believe the Petitioner drove the vehicle while impaired. The deputy attempted to administer three field sobriety tests to the Petitioner. However, the Petitioner refused to take two of the tests, walk and turn and one-legged stand, because of an ...


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