Thursday, October 18, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 133

Summary of Decision October 18, 2012

Justice Golden delivered the opinion for the Court. Remanded.


Docket Number: S-11-0284


Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County, Honorable Nena R. James, Judge.

Representing Appellant: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel; Wyoming Public Defender Program

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Justin A. Daraie, Assistant Attorney General.

Date of Decision: October 18, 2012

Facts: This appeal presented a question of first impression whether a criminal defendant’s judgment of conviction upon his plea of guilty to the felony of third degree sexual abuse of a minor must be set aside and he be permitted to plead anew because the district court failed to comply with Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-11-507 which states:

(a) No judgment of conviction shall be entered upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any charge which may result in the disqualification of the defendant to possess firearms pursuant to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), (9) and 924(a)(2) or other federal law unless the defendant was advised in open court by the judge:

(i) Of the collateral consequences that may arise from that conviction pursuant to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. §§ 921(a)(33), 922(g)(1), (9) and 924(a)(2); and

(ii) That if the defendant is a peace officer, member of the armed forces, hunting guide, security guard or engaged in any other profession or occupation requiring the carrying or possession of a firearm, that he may now, or in the future, lose the right to engage in that profession or occupation should he be convicted.

Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-11-507 (LexisNexis 2011) (emphasis added).

Issues: The State’s issue statement adequately presents the issue before us:

When a defendant seeks to plead guilty to a felony, a court must advise him, pursuant to Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-11-507, that federal law disqualifies felons from possessing firearms. The district court never advised Starrett of this consequence when he pled guilty to felony sexual abuse of a minor. Even so, can Starrett’s conviction be affirmed because he does not suggest that receiving the advisement would have led him to plead differently?

Holdings: The district court’s failure to give Starrett that required advisement was a Rule 32 error. Consistent with the Court’s precedent dealing with Rule 32 error, the Court held that the district court’s failure to include in Starrett’s judgment of conviction upon his plea of guilty the advisement required by Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-11-507 required the Court to set aside Starrett’s judgment of conviction and remand to that court with directions that he be permitted to plead anew. It is so ordered.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library and we will provide any needed assistance]

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