DEFENDANT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED A HEARING ON HIS MOTION TO WITHDRAW HIS GUILTY PLEA.
The Fourth Department determined a hearing on defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea should have been held. Defendant was charged with assault. 22 days before the assault defendant had undergone brain surgery. In his motion to withdraw his plea, defendant alleged he was told by his attorney the neurosurgeon had refused to testify if a psychiatric defense was raised. However, the neurosurgeon provided an affidavit stating he never spoke to defendant’s attorney and never refused to testify:
It is well settled that the determination whether to grant a motion to withdraw a guilty plea is within the court’s discretion and that a defendant is entitled to an evidentiary hearing only in rare instances … . The denial of such a motion is not an abuse of discretion “unless there is some evidence of innocence, fraud, or mistake in inducing the plea” … . Here, if the allegations in defendant’s affidavit are true, then defendant’s plea was not voluntarily and intelligently entered inasmuch as it was based upon a mistaken belief that a psychiatric defense was unavailable … . We therefore conclude that defendant’s motion was not “patently insufficient on its face” … , and that the court abused its discretion in denying the motion without an evidentiary hearing … . Thus, we hold the case, reserve decision, and remit the matter to County Court for a hearing on defendant’s motion. People v Noce, 2016 NY Slip Op 08632, 4th Dept 12-23-16
CRIMINAL LAW (DEFENDANT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED A HEARING ON HIS MOTION TO WITHDRAW HIS GUILTY PLEA)/GUILTY PLEA, MOTION TO WITHDRAW (DEFENDANT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED A HEARING ON HIS MOTION TO WITHDRAW HIS GUILTY PLEA)