Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
The PEOPLE, etc., respondent, v. Ismain VELAZQUEZ–HERNANDEZ, appellant.
Decided: April 28, 2021
REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., BETSY BARROS, LINDA CHRISTOPHER, PAUL WOOTEN, JJ.
Laurette D. Mulry, Riverhead, N.Y. (Lisa Marcoccia of counsel), for appellant. Timothy D. Sini, District Attorney, Riverhead, N.Y. (Alfred Croce of counsel), for respondent.
DECISION & ORDER
Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the County Court, Suffolk County (Stephen Braslow, J.), rendered March 6, 2018, convicting him of driving while intoxicated (two counts), aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, false personation, and operating a motor vehicle without a left side mirror, upon his plea of guilty, and imposing sentence.
ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice, the defendant's plea of guilty and the sentence imposed thereon are vacated, and the matter is remitted to the County Court, Suffolk County, for further proceedings on the indictment.
The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, false personation, and operating a motor vehicle without a left side mirror.
“A trial court is constitutionally required to ensure that a defendant, before entering a guilty plea, has a full understanding of what the plea entails and its consequences” (People v. Belliard, 20 N.Y.3d 381, 385, 961 N.Y.S.2d 820, 985 N.E.2d 415; see People v. Colon, 151 A.D.3d 1915, 1918–1919, 57 N.Y.S.3d 844). Here, under the particular circumstances of this case, the County Court failed to ensure that the defendant understood the rights he would be giving up by pleading guilty. Moreover, the court failed to ensure that the defendant “ha[d] a full understanding of what the plea connote[d] and of its consequence” (Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 244, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274; see People v. Conceicao, 26 N.Y.3d 375, 379, 23 N.Y.S.3d 124, 44 N.E.3d 199). The court failed to inform the defendant that he would be giving up his right to a trial by jury, of the People's obligation to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or of his right against self-incrimination.
Accordingly, notwithstanding the defendant's failure to preserve his arguments for appellate review (see People v. Sirico, 135 A.D.3d 19, 22, 18 N.Y.S.3d 430), upon review in the exercise of our interest of justice jurisdiction (see People v. Diaz, 97 A.D.2d 851, 851, 469 N.Y.S.2d 17), the defendant's plea and the sentence imposed thereon must be vacated, and the matter remitted to the County Court, Suffolk County, for further proceedings on the indictment.
RIVERA, J.P., BARROS, CHRISTOPHER and WOOTEN, JJ., concur.
Was this helpful?
Response sent, thank you
Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes
A free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.