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Guilty Pleas – Factual Basis – Alford Plea – Generally

State v. Anna Annina, 2006 WI App 202
For Annina: Robert R. Henak


¶9        Annina seeks to withdraw her Alford plea on the grounds that a manifest injustice has occurred. “Withdrawal of a plea following sentencing is not allowed unless it is necessary to correct a manifest injustice.”  State v. Smith, 202 Wis.  2d 21, 25, 549 N.W.2d 232 (1996). Specifically, Annina argues that the trial court failed to establish a sufficient factual basis for her plea. A circuit court’s failure “to establish a sufficient factual basis that the defendant committed the offense to which he or she [pled]” is an example of a manifest injustice. Id. With respect to an Alford plea, “the basis requirement is only satisfied if there is strong proof of guilt as to each element of the crime.” Id. at 28. [3] Determining the existence of a sufficient factual basis lies within the discretion of the trial court and this determination will not be overturned unless it is clearly erroneous. See id. at 25.

 [3] “Alford pleas are treated differently from guilty pleas in regard to the factual basis requirement because Alford pleas allow a defendant to be convicted of a crime even though the defendant continues to assert his [or her] innocence.” State v. Smith, 202 Wis.  2d 21, 27, 549 N.W.2d 232 (1996).


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