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Guilty Plea Waiver Rule – Issues Waived — “Becker” Issue

State v. Chad D. Schroeder, 224 Wis.2d 706, 593 N.W.2d 76 (Ct. App. 1999)
For Schroeder: Patrick C. Brennan.

Issue/Holding: A guilty plea waives any right to a hearing under State v. Becker, 74 Wis. 2d 675, 247 N.W.2d 495 (1976) (whether state manipulated adult court in not commencing case I juvenile court). A Becker issue, in other words, is one of potential constitutional, not subject-matter jurisdictional, dimension. Subject-matter jurisdiction fails only when the complaint doesn’t charge an offense known to law. (This is a bit of an overstatement. For example, double jeopardy objection to a charge “known to law” isn’t waivable. State v. Lechner, 217 Wis.2d 392, 404 n. 8, 576 N.W.2d 912 (1998) [“The defendant’s plea of no contest, however, did not waive his double jeopardy challenges.”] Since the purpose of a Becker hearing is to vindicate due process rights, not to confer jurisdiction, the issue is therefore waived by guilty plea. (The court pauses to yet again distinguish “competency” from “jurisdiction.” The former relates to a court’s statutory authority to adjudicate the specific case before it; the latter, to constitutional authority to adjudicate a kind of authority.)

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