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Guilty Plea Waiver Rule – Issues Waived — Unauthorized Repeater Sentence

State v. Jeremy J. Hanson, 2001 WI 70, 244 Wis. 2d 405, 628 N.W.2d 759, reversing unpublished decision of court of appeals
For Hanson: James B. Connell

Issue: Whether a guilty or no contest plea waives the right to challenge the defendant’s status as an habitual traffic offender, and the right to challenge the HTO sentencing penalty as unauthorized.

Holding:

¶21. Section 973.13 requires Wisconsin courts to declare a sentence void ‘[i]n any case where the court imposes a maximum penalty in excess of that authorized by law.’ § 973.13 (emphasis added). In an analogous context, our court of appeals concluded that the command of § 973.13 allowed a defendant to challenge a faulty repeater sentence despite the existence of an otherwise effective procedural bar. State v. Flowers, 221 Wis. 2d 20, 22-23, 586 N.W.2d 175 (Ct. App. 1998)….

¶22. As in Flowers, to allow the imposition of a criminal penalty where none is authorized by the legislature, simply on the basis of waiver, would ignore the dictate of § 973.13. We thus reach the merits of Hanson’s challenge and determine whether any basis existed for the imposition of a criminal sentence.

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