Plea Agreements. What to expect at a change of plea hearing? Judge fails to ask about voluntariness.

In this video we are discussing plea agreements. The contents of a typical plea agreement in the Southern District of California, San Diego.


The panel reaffirmed that a Rule 11 error doesn’t automatically lead to reversal; a defendant must continue to show a Rule 11 violation’s impact on substantial rights before this court will undo a guilty plea. The panel wrote that, assuming the magistrate judge committed a Rule 11 violation, the defendant failed to satisfy the third prong of plain-error review—an effect on substantial rights. The panel noted that the defendant didn’t argue on appeal that his plea was in fact involuntary or that it resulted from force, threats, or promises; he didn’t point to anything in the record to suggest he was incompetent to plead guilty; and he didn’t assert he would have declined to plead guilty if the magistrate judge had asked the Rule 11(b)(2) questions. The panel concluded that the defendant thus didn’t show a reasonable probability that compliance with Rule 11 would have led to a different plea. Rejecting the defendant’s suggestion that no independent showing of incompetence or vulnerability to coercion is necessary because the failure to comply with Rule 11(b)(2) by itself affects substantial rights, the panel wrote that the text of Rule 11(h) forecloses such a per se finding of prejudice.

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM | Criminal Defense and Business Law
(619) 357-6677

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