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Plea-Withdrawal – Post-Sentencing – Bangert Hearing – State Met Burden of Proof

State v. Christopher S. Hoppe, 2009 WI 41, affirming 2008 WI App 89
For Hoppe: Martha K. Askins, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding: Notwithstanding “irregularities” with respect to the burden of proof, the hearing on Hoppe’s Bangert challenge established that his plea was knowing and voluntary, given “the circuit court’s findings … that the circuit court disbelieved the defendant’s claims that he did not receive and did not understand the information that was provided in the Plea Questionnaire/Waiver of Rights Form but that was not provided to the defendant during the plea colloquy,” ¶¶46-58.

These findings also doom Hoppe’s Nelson-Bentley claim for plea-withdrawal, which involves issues similar to his Bangert claim (knowledge of maximum penalties, rights waived, import of read-ins, counsel’s unpreparedness), ¶¶59-66. Roughly put, Bangert deals with an “intrinsically” bad plea colloquy and the State has the burden of proving that the plea was nonetheless valid; and Nelson-Bentley deals with problems “extrinsic” to the plea colloquy, so that the defendant has the burden of proving up these problems. Detailed discussion in the opinion.

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