Overstating Possible Punishment and the (In)voluntary Nature of the Plea — Part II

In a blog post here, I wrote about overstating possible punishment and the voluntary nature of a plea. In that post, I discussed the dangers of overstating the possible maximum sentence with respect to consecutive sentences and recent changes to post-release supervision. That post prompted questions about a related issue. Here’s the set up: At … Read more


Overstating Possible Punishment and the (In)voluntary Nature of the Plea

In a post here discussing application of post-release supervision periods to multiple sentences Jamie raised the question of whether over-advising a defendant as to the maximum possible sentence associated with pending charges can undercut the knowing, voluntary and intelligent nature of a plea. Let’s recap the issue. Suppose a defendant is contemplating pleading guilty to … Read more

Ineffective Assistance and Plea Bargaining

The Supreme Court decided two cases last week about ineffective assistance of counsel during plea bargaining. The cases, Lafler v. Cooper and Missouri v. Frye, made a big splash in the media. Locally, they were featured on front page of the News and Observer. Nationally, they’ve been the talk of the New York Times and … Read more

Restitution to Victims of Unconvicted Conduct

Can a defendant be ordered to pay restitution based on offenses that did not result in a conviction? Of course a defendant should not be ordered to pay restitution for a charge on which he or she was acquitted. State v. Bass, 53 N.C. App. 40 (1981) (restitution order for alleged food stamp overpayments was … Read more

Package Deal Plea Bargains

The court of appeals decided State v. Salvetti this week. The case involves several interesting issues, but I want to focus on the court’s approval of “package deal” plea bargaining. In Salvetti, the defendant and his wife were charged with abusing their son. The defendant entered into a plea bargain, under which he pled guilty … Read more