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State v. Stapleton

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

September 27, 2013

STATE OF HAWAI'I, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ROBERT STAPLETON, Defendant-Appellant

NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAI'I REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT (CR. NO. 11-1-0545)

Stuart N. Fujioka for Defendant-Appellant.

Stephen K. Tsushima Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Foley, Presiding J., Leonard and Ginoza, JJ.

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

Defendant-Appellant Robert Stapleton (Stapleton) appeals from the "Order of Resentencing Revocation of Probation" entered November 30, 2012 in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit[1] (circuit court).

Stapleton contends the circuit court (1) erred when it accepted Stapleton's guilty plea, (2) abused its discretion when it denied "[Stapleton's] Motion To Withdraw Guilty Plea, " and (3) abused its discretion when it revoked probation and sentenced Stapleton to imprisonment.

Upon careful review of the record and the briefs submitted by the parties and having given due consideration to the arguments advanced and the issues raised by the parties, as well as the relevant statutory and case law, we conclude Stapleton's appeal is without merit.

(1) The circuit court did not err in accepting Stapleton's guilty plea. Our evaluation is essentially a constitutional one:

A trial judge is constitutionally required to ensure that a guilty plea is voluntarily and knowingly entered. Although no specific dialogue is required, the court should make "an affirmative showing by an on-the-record colloquy between the court and the defendant wherein the defendant is shown to have a full understanding of what the plea of guilty connotes and its consequences . "

State v. Solomon, 107 Hawai'i 117, 126, 111 P.3d 12, 21 (2005) (quoting State v. Williams, 68 Haw. 498, 499, 720 P.2d 1010, 1012 (1986) (citations and emphasis omitted). As such, we review the validity of Stapleton's guilty plea de novo. See State v. Jenkins, 93 Hawai'i 87, 100, 997 P.2d 13, 26 (2000); See also State v. Topasna, 94 Hawai'i 444, 452, 16 P.3d 849, 857 (App. 2000).

To ensure constitutional compliance, Hawai'i Rules of Penal Procedure (HRPP) Rule 11 provides specific guidance for courts presented with Rule 11 guilty pleas[2]:

Rule 11. PLEAS

(c) Advice to defendant. The court shall not accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere without first addressing the defendant personally in open court and determining ...

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