State Court Plea Used in Federal Court Proceedings

Oct 10, 2011

Federal Court proceedings indicted Richard Aguirre for racketeering and conspiracy to distribute narcotics after he pleaded guilty in state court to one count of maintaining a residence for purposes of selling cocaine in People v. Aguirre. Unaware that his guilty plea would be used in Federal Court, Aguirre appealed and entered a motion to withdraw his plea.

During his appeal, Aguirre stated that his plea was not “knowing, intelligent, and voluntary” because he was unaware that it might be used against him in a federal prosecution. He felt the trial court was obligated to tell him about the federal jury proceedings and that the federal indictment was a direct consequence from his plea in state court.

The Second Appellate District affirmed judgment on Aguirre’s case. They were not convinced with Aguirre’s contentions and held that the trial court does not have to advise the defendant that his plea might be used in a federal prosecution. In addition, Aguirre’s argument regarding his lack of knowledge about the federal jury was not sufficient enough for the court to grant him his motion to withdraw his plea.

-California Court of Appeals, 2nd Appellate District, 2nd Div., September 26, 2011; B227019