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Plea Agreements — Deferred-acceptance Agreement — Enforceability

State v. Brady T. Terrill, 2001 WI App 70, 242 Wis. 2d 415, 625 N.W.2d 353
For Terrill: Eileen Hirsch, SPD, Madison Appellate.

Issue: Whether the trial court properly reconsidered a deferred-acceptance agreement (which would have allowed the defendant to avoid conviction upon successful completion of supervision), entering judgement of conviction after deeming the offense more serious than originally thought.

Holding:

¶24. If the State had asked the circuit court to enter judgment on the felony after viewing the videotape, the State’s action would have violated Terrill’s right to fundamental due process. Whether that action took place minutes, hours, or days after Terrill entered his pleas, would be legally irrelevant.

¶25. The circuit court’s action violates the same fundamental due process rights as would the State’s withdrawal from a plea agreement. The timing of the circuit court’s action is equally irrelevant.

¶26. Because the circuit court was bound by the plea agreement, we conclude it did not have the discretion to revoke the agreement and accept Terrill’s plea to the felony. Therefore, we reverse and remand with directions to reinstate the agreement.

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