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Defendant waived rights -Guilty Plea cannot be withdrawn

The Defendant here claimed that he should be allowed to withdraw (CPL § 220.60(3)) his guilty plea on teh grounds that he felt pressured to take "what was offered to him...even though he had no consciousness of guilt." The Defendant stated that he had minimal contact with his defense counsel and did not know his other options. The court rejects this argument.

Law: In Boykin v. Alabama, 395 US 238 (1969) the Supreme Court set down standards a trial judge must abide by when taking a guilty plea. The Supreme Court requires a showing that the "plea was voluntarily and knowingly entered by the defendant..." In moving to withdraw his guilty plea, the Defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that the plea was not "knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently entered." (People v. Fiumefreddo, 82 NY2d 536 (1993)... In deciding the motion, trial judges have discretion (People v. Alexander, 97 NY2d 482 (2002) to determine whether the plea is entered voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently.

Application: The Court reviewed the record and found nothing to show that there was a coercion of innocence - the colloquy bore seven factors showing that the plea was made knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently:

  • The defendant acknowledged that he was pleading guilty freely and voluntarily,;

  • That no one was forcing him to take his plea;

  • That he was waiving his right to trial by jury;

  • He was waiving his right to remain silent;

  • He was waiving the right to have an attorney call witnesses on his behalf;

  • The defendant was waiving the right to cross-examine witnesses against him; and

  • The defendant was waiving his right to have the charges against him proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Court determined the application was without merit and denied the Defendant's motion - the guilty plea stands...The case is People v.Christopher Louis, 2013NY012953 (Crim. NY Feb. 5, 2014)

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