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Criminal Law: Post-Conviction Relief-Failure to Challenge Sufficiency of Evidence

Defendant was convicted for driving while intoxicated and for driving while his license was revoked. Defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief, arguing that appellate counsel failed to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions

Where the state failed to offer evidence sufficient to raise defendant’s charge for driving on a revoked license from a misdemeanor to a felony because it failed to prove defendant had counsel or waived counsel for his prior convictions that led to revocation of his license, defendant was prejudiced by the deficient performance of appellate counsel and entitled to resentencing for a misdemeanor.

Judgment is affirmed in part and reversed and remanded.

Hounihan v. State (MLW No. 74041/Case No. SC97622 – 12 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Russell, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Pemiscot County, Currie, J. (Scott Thompson, St. Louis, for appellant) (Daniel N. McPherson, Jefferson City, for appellee)