Friday, April 15, 2011

Failure to Include Guilty Plea Transcript is Critical Error on Appeal

Bailey appeals his ten year sentence after a guilty plea for aggravated assault and claims the court misapplied the enhancement factors.  He submitted the record on appeal but did not include the transcript of the actual guilty plea.  In that step his attorney made a critical error.

The Court of Criminal Appeals considers the guilty plea hearing transcript to be vital to a de novo review and potential resentencing by this court as required by law.  See, T.C.A. §40-35-401 (2010). The “‘failure to include the transcript of the guilty plea hearing in the record prohibits the court’s conducting a full de novo review of the sentence.  No matter how developed a record may appear, the court of criminal appeals cannot know its full extent unless the guilty plea transcript is included. “In the absence of an adequate record on appeal, this court must presume that the trial court’s rulings were supported by sufficient evidence."  Appeal denied.

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