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People v. Miller

Supreme Court of New York, First Department

January 30, 2014

The People of the State of New York, Respondent,
v.
Jerald Miller, Defendant-Appellant.

Steven Banks, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Kristina Schwarz of counsel), for appellant.

Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney, New York (Brian R. Pouliot of counsel), for respondent.

Mazzarelli, J.P., Andrias, Freedman, Gische, JJ.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Analisa Torres, J.), rendered September 10, 2010, convicting defendant, upon his plea of guilty, of attempted criminal contempt in the second degree, and sentencing him to a conditional discharge with community service, unanimously reversed, on the law, and the information dismissed in the interest of justice. Appeal from order, same court and Justice, entered on or about June 1, 2011, which denied defendant's CPL 440.10 motion to vacate his conviction, unanimously dismissed as academic.

Defendant contends that his guilty plea should be vacated because he was not informed of any of his constitutional rights under Boykin v Alabama (395 U.S. 238 [1969]). The only question that the judge asked was whether "anybody force[d him] to plead guilty." While it has been held that no "uniform mandatory catechism" is required at a plea (cert denied sub nom Robinson v New York, 393 U.S. 1067 [1969]; People v Tyrell, __ N.Y.3d, 2013 NY Slip Op 08288, *4 [2013]), the court's failure to inform defendant of any of his Boykin rights is an error of constitutional dimension mandating reversal (id. at *5).

We note that defendant fulfilled the conditions of his sentence.


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