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Court Discusses Waiver of Right to Appeal

This is a case being heard before the Supreme Court, Appellant Division, Second Department of the State of New York. The respondent in this matter is the People of the State of New York. Jay Jomar Bradshaw is the appellant of the case.

The defendant is appealing a judgment that was made in the Kings County Supreme Court. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the judgment convicted him of rape in the first degree after he pleaded guilty to the crime. The appeal will review the denial of the charges after a hearing for suppression of identification.

Case Background

When the Supreme Court denied the suppression of identification testimony, the defendant made an agreement to plead guilty to rape in the first degree. This agreement included a promised sentence of nine years imprisonment. During the plea allocution the Supreme Court advised the defendant of the terms of the sentencing agreement and explained that he would be waiving his right to appeal.

The records show that the Court stated that the defendant would be pleading guilty to rape in the first degree in exchange for a promised sentence of nine years followed by post release supervision as well as a couple of fines in the amount of $270. A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said when asked if he understood, the defendant asked about the fees and was informed there would be a fee in each county that would be taken out of the inmate funds.

The court asked the defendant if he understood that and also asked if he read and wrote English, the defendant responded yes to both questions.

Court Discussion

The issue from this case is the fact that the defendant did not acknowledge in any way that he understood the waiver of his right to appeal. The counsel for the defendant provided the court with the written waiver that was signed by the defendant, but there is no indication as to whether or not the defendant was advised of his right to appeal or that he understood the very nature of the waiver. In fact, the defendant claimed during his sentencing that his attorney had forced him to plead guilty and did not inform him of the consequences of doing so. He further alleged that his attorney did not provide him with the appropriate paperwork and that he had been led to believe that he would receive a Mental Illness and Controlled Substance Abuse therapeutic program.

The Supreme Court made no attempt to question the defendant about the waiver and did not record evidence that the defendant understood the contents of the agreement.

Court Decision

The defendant argues that his waiver of the right to appeal is not enforceable because the Supreme Court failed to provide an explanation regarding the waiver and did not attempt to ensure that he, as a first time felony offender who has a history of mental illness understood the waiver and was validly waiving his right to appeal.

A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said that they agree with the defendant in this particular case. There is no evidence showing that the waiver was explained to the defendant in a way that was understood. When asked if he understood, the Supreme Court did not offer further explanations of the waiver when the defendant only asked about the fees. For these reasons the appeal is granted in favor of the defendant.

Legal issues can be quite complex and this is why it is important to have an experienced litigator on your side. When you need legal advice, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates to speak with an experienced attorney. We are happy to discuss your case with you during a free consultation. Our offices are located around the city of New York for your convenience.

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