IN THE ________ JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR
UTAH COUNTY, STATE OF UTAH
|STATE OF UTAH Plaintiff vs. JESSICA MARISSA MARTINEZ Defendant||Case No. _______________ MOTION TO WITHDRAW GUILTY PLEA|
COMES NOW, Defendant JESSICA MARISSA MARTINEZ, by and through her attorney of record, CHARITY SHREVE pursuant to Utah Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 and Utah Code section 77-13-6(2)(a), and files this Motion to Withdraw her Guilty Plea. Defendant files this Motion on the ground that it was not knowingly and voluntarily entered. In support of the said Motion, Defendant states as follows:
On March 29, 2021, this matter came before Judge Russell for a Pretrial Conference. At the Pretrial Conference, Defendant pleaded guilty to County 1, Theft By Deception, a Second Degree Felony. In exchange for that plea, the State dismissed the remaining counts. Present at the hearing was Jeffrey Thomson on behalf of the State and Richard Gallegos on behalf of the Defendant. Accordingly, a pre-sentence report was ordered and sentencing scheduled for May 10, 2021.
A Change of Plea Form was filed the same day. At sentencing, counsel for the Defendant requested a continuance and sentencing was scheduled for June 14, 2021. The matter was again continued to June 21, 2021 and then a Review of Plea was scheduled for August 2, 2021. Ronald Fujino was then appointed to represent Defendant. The matter was rescheduled for a Review of Plea on August 30, 2021 and again continued several more times and ultimately Defendant failed to appear and a warrant issued. The matter is now scheduled for Sentencing January 31, 2022 and then reset for February 7, 2022.
Defendant informed defense counsel that she wants to withdraw her plea. Defendant stated she was not thinking clearly and did not understand her constitutional rights nor did she understand which rights she was waiving. At the Change of Plea, Defendant was taking prescribed medication that impacted her ability to think clearly, understand the charges against her, and appreciate the magnitude of waiving her constitutional rights.
- The guilty was not made voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently.
Under rule 11 of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, the court may not accept a guilty plea unless it determines both that the defendant knows the various consequences of entering a guilty plea and that the defendant is voluntarily entering the plea. See Utah R.Crim. P. 11(e); see also State v. Visser, 2000 UT 88, ¶ 11, 22 P.3d 1242 (“`[T]he trial court [must] personally establish that the defendant’s guilty plea is truly knowing and voluntary and establish on the record that the defendant knowingly waived his or her constitutional rights.'” (quoting State v. Abeyta, 852 P.2d 993, 995 (Utah 1993))).
“The longstanding test for determining the validity of a guilty plea is `whether the plea represents a voluntary and intelligent choice among the alternative courses of action open to the defendant.'” Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 56, 106 S.Ct. 366, 88 L.Ed.2d 203 (1985) (quoting North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 31, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970)). But this does not require that the defendant know the exact ultimate result of entering a guilty plea.”[T]he substantive goal of rule 11 is to ensure that defendants know of their rights and thereby understand the basic consequences of their decision to plead guilty.” State v. Visser, 2000 UT 88, ¶ 11, 22 P.3d 1242.
“The entry of a guilty plea involves the waiver of several important constitutional rights” and “because the prosecution will generally be liable to show that it will suffer any significant prejudice if the plea is withdrawn, a presentence motion to withdraw a guilty plea should, in general, be liberally granted.” State v. Gallegos, 738 P.2d 1040, 1041-42 (Utah 1987).
In the instant action, Defendant avers that because her guilty plea was not voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently made, this Court should allow her to withdraw the plea. Defendant avers that a plea is not knowing and voluntary when the Defendant does not understand the nature of the constitutional protections that he is waiving, or because she/he has such an incomplete understanding of the charge that the plea cannot stand as an intelligent admission of guilt. Further, it is trite law that a Defendant must understand what critical elements the State would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. Without knowing the elements that the State would have to prove, a Defendant cannot intelligently weigh the risks and benefits of going to trial versus pleading guilty. See State v. Alexander, 2012 UT 27, 1129-30, 279 P.3d 371.
Defendant avers (and has that indicated to her counsel), that she was confused at the Change of Plea and did not fully understand the plea deal that she entered into and the constitutional rights she was waiving. Further, at the Change of Plea, Defendant was taking prescribed medication that impacted her ability to think clearly, understand the charges against her, and appreciate the magnitude of waiving her constitutional rights.
- Accepting the Defendant’s guilty plea would amount to an error, plain on the face of the record; and would be a violation of due process.
“It [is] error, plain on the face of the record, for the trial judge to accept petitioner’s guilty plea without an affirmative showing that it was intelligent and voluntary.” State v. Valencia, 776 P.2d 1332 (1989).
Further, to conform with the requirements of due process, a guilty plea must be knowingly and voluntarily entered. State v. Stilling, 856 P.2d 666, 671 (Utah Ct.App. 1993), A guilty plea is knowingly and voluntarily entered if it “represents a voluntary and intelligent choice among the alternative courses of action open to defendant.” Parke v. Raley, 506 U.S. 20, 28, 113 S.Ct 517 (1992) (quoting North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 31, 91 S.Ct. 160 (1970)).
The Defendant has already stated the circumstances in which she entered the guilty plea. Notably, she was taking prescribed medication that impacted her ability to think clearly, understand the charges against her, and appreciate the magnitude of waiving her constitutional rights. Accordingly, this Court would violate Defendant’s due process rights in the event it denies Defendant’s Motion, and upholds the guilty plea. Besides, such a decision would amount to an error, plain on the face of the record.
WHEREFORE, Defendant Jessica Marissa Martinez respectfully requests for leave from this Court to withdraw her guilty plea because it was not knowingly and voluntarily made.
Dated this _____ day of ______, 2022.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
I, [ENTER NAME], certified on this ______day of ________ 2022, I deposited a true copy of the above to the Plaintiff by placing the documents with prepaid postage in the United States mailbox address.
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