New York State Court of Appeals
Knowingly and Voluntary
People v. Alexander
Background: The defendant was charged with the sale of a controlled substance on or near school grounds. Prior to being assigned counsel, the defendant filed a number of pro se motions, including a motion for a speedy trial. Due to these motions, the trial was delayed. However, the defendant was offered a plea and he accepted. The defendant later learned that his motion was granted. He then sought to have his plea withdrawn and the indictment reinstated.
Ruling: In affirming the conviction, the court noted that, prior to pleading guilty, the trial judge informed the defendant that he would accept the plea on the condition that the defendant withdraw any and all outstanding motions and waive the right to appeal. During allocution the judge twice asked the defendant if he understood the consequences of entering the plea, including the withdrawal of any outstanding motions. The defendant said that he did understand. There was no evidence that the prosecution used the defendant’s speedy trial motion as leverage for the plea.
Jonathan M. Kirshbaum for the appellant; Megan R. Roberts for the respondent