Appeal Rights After Guilty Plea Depend on the Court Level
Fairfax criminal lawyer points out the differing scope of appellate rights depending on the court where a guilty plea is entered
Appeal rights after a guilty plea depend on which court took the plea. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I here address those differing appeal rights depending on whether the guilty plea was entered in a Virginia Circuit Court, a Virginia District Court, or a federal court.
Fairfax criminal lawyer on the narrow appeal rights after a Virginia Circuit Court guilty plea
As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that pleading guilty in a Virginia state Circuit Court bars most meaningful appellate relief. In Virginia Circuit Court, a “‘voluntary and intelligent plea of guilty by an accused… is a waiver of all defenses [on appeal] other than those jurisdictional'”. Savino v. Virginia, 239 Va. 534, 539 (1990) (quoting Peyton v. King, 210 Va. 194, 196-97 (1969). The same goes for no contest/nolo contendere pleas and Alford pleas. Clauson v. Virginia, 29 Va. App. 282, 294 (1999).
In Virginia, only with the consent of the prosecution and approval of the court, a criminal defendant in Circuit Court may enter a conditional guilty plea, reserving the defendant’s right to seek appeal “of the adverse determination of any specified pretrial motion.” Va. Code § 19.2-254; Cross v. Virginia, 49 Va.App. 484, 491-92 (2007).
Fairfax criminal lawyer on the full right to appeal for a trial de novo in Circuit Court after a District Court conviction
As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I underline that any misdemeanor or infraction conviction in a Virginia General District Court or such an adult conviction in Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court entitles the defendant to an appeal to and de novo trial in Circuit Court even if the conviction resulted from a District Court plea of guilty, no contest or Alford, unless any plea agreement involves a waiver of that appellate right. Va. Code §§ 16.1-132 and 16.1-136.
Fairfax criminal lawyer on a federal guilty plea’s not waiving the right to appeal on Fourth Amendment and other procedural defects unless expressly waived
Recently, a deeply divided United States Supreme Court ruled that a federal guilty plea does not waive a criminal defendant’s right to appeal on Fourth Amendment and other procedural defects unless expressly waived. Class v. United States, ___ U.S. ___ (Feb. 21, 2018).
Consequently, as a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I urge criminal defendants to fully understand their appeal waiver rights before entering a plea of guilty, no contest, or Alford
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz has successfully defended thousands of criminal defendants since 1991 and has handled many criminal appeals. To discuss your case with Jon, please call his staff at 703-383-1100 to schedule a confidential consultation.