Category Archives: GUILTY PLEAS

NORGAARD PLEA OF GUILTY – Unable to Recall Facts (15-16)

NORGAARD PLEA OF GUILTY: A Norgaard Plea is a procedure that governs situations where a defendant wants to enter a plea of guilty (usually in order to take advantage of a plea agreement) but is unable to recall facts damnesiaue to intoxication or amnesia. Unlike an Alford plea (see update 14-18) in a Norgaard plea, defendant does not make a claim he is innocent. State v. Ecker, 524 N.W.2d 712, 716 (Minn.1994); State v. Johnson, A14-1605, Minn. App. June 29, 2015.

To the dismay of the Court of Appeals, there are certain judicial mistakes/oversights that tend to reoccur with every new generation of judges and attorneys. Two of the most common oversights involve Alford and Norgaard pleas of guilty. These oversights almost always involve failure to make a complete record. Creating a full and complete record to support any plea of guilty should be viewed as a collaborative effort shared by both judge and attorneys.

The proper procedure for an Alford plea of guilty can be found in Update 14-18, dated October 8, 2014.

This week’s judicial update outlines the procedure that the district court must follow before a Norgaard plea of guilty can be accepted.

TO READ THE FULL UPDATE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK:

PendletonUpdate 15-16

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IMMIGRATION: 5 Immigration Facts Every Judge and Attorney Should Know (13-13)

There are many conviction and sentencing factors that can have a dramatic impact on the deportation status of a non-citizen defendant. This update covers five of the most common problems that every judge and attorney should be aware of and one suggested best practice. The lastimmigration.law page of the update includes references to several immigration services available to judges, attorneys and the general public.

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ MORE

 PendletonUpdate13-13

ALFORD (Defendant Denies Guilt) Plea of Guilty (14-18)

alford pleaQUESTION: What is an “Alford” plea of guilty? What procedure must the District Court follow before an “Alford” plea can be accepted?

 In North Carolina v. Alford, the United States Supreme Court held that it was constitutional for a court to accept a defendant’s guilty plea, even though the defendant maintained his innocence, where the State demonstrated “a strong factual basis for the plea” and the defendant clearly expressed his desire to enter the plea based on his belief that the State’s evidence would be sufficient to convict him. 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160 (1970); State v. Theis, 742 N.W.2d 643 (Minn. 2007).

This update discusses the three necessary steps that courts must take before an “Alford” plea can be accepted.

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ MORE

PendletonUpdate14-18

ACCEPTANCE OF GUILTY PLEA – WHEN? (10-18)

Defendant pleads guilty to Felony Domestic Assault (but could be any criminal offense) pursuant to a plea agreement. Court accepts the plea, orders a PSI and return for sentencing. After reading the PSI court decides NOT to accept the plea agreement. At sentencing the court rejects the previously accepted plea of guilty. Defendant argues that his continued prosecution, following the rejection of a guilty plea that the district court had accepted in open court, violated the constitutional protection against double jeopardy.

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ MORE

Pendleton10.18-Acceptance_of_Guilty_Plea

Lothenbach Plea – A Potential judicial Landmine (10-11)

QUESTION: WHAT IS A LOTHENBACH PLEA/STIPULATION? Unlike some other states, Minnesota does not allow a defendant to make a conditional guilty plea. Before the Lothenbach decision, in order to preserve the right to appeal a pre-trial issue even when no other material facts were in dispute, a criminal defendant was first required to plead “not guilty” and then go through an unnecessary jury trial. Recognizing this was inefficient, the Supreme Court created a procedure to preserve a defendant’s right to appeal a pre-trial order and avoid an otherwise unnecessary jury trial.

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ MORE

Pendleton10.11-Lothenbach_Plea-A_Potential_Judicial_Branch_Landmine