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Judges affirm denial of motion to withdraw plea

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The trial court did not err when it denied a defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea after his attorney failed to discover that the state could charge him with being a habitual offender in only one of the two separate causes that were filed against him, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Jason Jeffries pleaded guilty to Class A felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver or manufacture under Cause FA-029. In exchange, the habitual offender charges on that cause and a separate one, FC-113, were dismissed. At his sentencing hearing, Jeffries’ attorney told the trial court that his review of the habitual offender statute indicated that Jeffries couldn’t have been subject to such an enhancement under FA-029, but was still eligible for that charge under FC-113.

Jeffries then tried to withdraw his guilty plea, which the trial court denied. He was sentenced to 40 years as outlined in the plea agreement.

In Jason Jeffries v. State of Indiana, No. 87A01-1102-CR-128, the COA held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to withdraw because Jeffries could have been tried on one of the habitual offender counts, potentially resulting in a longer sentence than he received under the plea agreement, and both habitual offender counts were dismissed pursuant to the plea agreement.

Jeffries’ claim of ineffective assistance of counsel also failed because he can’t establish he would have received a better outcome than the 40-year sentence he received under the agreement if he had been convicted of the charges at trial.

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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