Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Nebraska Court of Appeals (J. Inbody) allows streamlined records for using uncounseled convictions to enhance punishment in later proceedings. Following US Supreme Court Iowa v Tovar, Court need only advise the defendant of the right to counsel, the nature of the charges and the range of punishments State v. Brown, 14 Neb. App. 508 February 21, 2006. No. A-05-683. Trial courts taking uncounseled guilty pleas from defendants wont need to run through a long laundry list of all the good things an attorney can do for the defendant. Defendant objected to enhancing his driving while intoxicated charges with an uncounseled prior conviction The trial judge in the earlier proceeding lined out certain items on a docket sheet checklist, pertaining to juvenile court transfer, "Defendant's Presumption of Innocence; State's Burden of Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt. Thus, the question before this court is whether the county court's alleged failure to advise Brown of the presumption of innocence and the State's burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt rendered Brown's September 2000 waiver of his right to counsel involuntary. Iowa v. Tovar, 541 U.S. 77, 124 S. Ct. 1379, 158 L. Ed. 2d 209 (2004) holds that in a collateral attack on an uncounseled conviction, the defendant must prove that he did not competently and intelligently waive his right to the assistance of counsel." When the trial court informs the accused of the nature of the charges against him, of his right to be counseled regarding his plea, and of the range of allowable punishments attendant upon the entry of a guilty plea, it satisfies the Defendants constitutional right to an intelligently waived right to counsel. the county court's September 2000 journal entry and order establishes that Brown was informed by the county court as to the nature of the charge against him, of the possible penalties, and of his right to counsel. The fact that other portions of the rights advisory were crossed out did not render Brown's waiver of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel involuntary.

No comments: