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Defendant waived right to appeal sentence

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Finding that a man knowingly and voluntarily waived the right to appeal the appropriateness of his concurrent 34-year sentences following a guilty plea to drug charges, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his sentence.

In Richard Hawkins v. State of Indiana, 79A02-1211-CR-958, Richard Hawkins agreed to plead guilty to Class A felonies dealing in cocaine and possession of cocaine in exchange for other drug charges to be dropped. The plea said the sentencing would be at the discretion of the trial court, other than Hawkins would receive concurrent sentences. It also contained language that he knowingly and voluntarily agrees to waive his right to appeal his sentence by entering into the plea.

Despite this waiver clause, Hawkins argues that he didn’t knowingly or voluntarily waive this right to appeal his sentence, pointing to the trial court’s advisement during the plea hearing that he is entitled to be represented by an attorney on appeal.

But the appellate court found by explaining that Hawkins has the right to an attorney, the trial judge did not contradict the waiver portion. Instead, read in the context of the hearing, the trial court merely explained Hawkins’ right to representation – a right clearly distinct from his right to appeal his sentence, Judge Patricia Riley wrote.

“By separating the right to appeal from the right to representation, the trial court properly advised Hawkins without contradicting itself or raising any ambiguities. We conclude that Hawkins knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to appeal his sentence,” she wrote.

 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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