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Guilty Pleas – Required Knowledge – Collateral & Direct Consequences – Alford plea – probation condition requiring admission of guilt

State ex rel. Phillip I. Warren v. Schwarz, 219 Wis.2d 615, 579 N.W.2d 698 (1998), affirming State ex rel. Warren v. Schwarz 211 Wis. 2d 708, 566 N.W.2d 173 (Ct. App. 1997).
State v. Phillip I. Warren, 219 Wis.2d 615, 579 N.W.2d 698 (1998), on certification
For Warren: Ralph A. Kalal

Issue: “(W)hether the circuit court’s failure to inform Warren at the time of his Alford plea that he would be required to admit his guilt during a sex offender treatment program rendered that plea unknowing and involuntary in violation of his right to due process,” ¶31.

Holding: Because the consequence for failure to admit the offense during treatment — revocation of probation — was a collateral consequence of the plea, the trial court wasn’t obligated to make it part of the plea colloquy.

However, court also cautions; “Because of the unique nature of Alford pleas, circuit courts accepting such pleas should take extra care to ensure that defendants understand that in order to successfully complete the treatment program, they will be required to admit guilt,” ¶75.


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