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Plea Bargains – Breach: By Prosecutor — Failure to Comply with Express Terms of Sentencing Recommendation

State v. Robert D. Hanson, 2000 WI App 10, 232 Wis.2d 291, 606 N.W.2d 278
For Hanson: Suzanne L. Hagopian, SPD, Madison Appellate.

Issue: Whether the prosecutor breached the plea bargain by failing to expressly recommend the agreed 10 year sentencing cap, on a 15-year exposure.

Holding: Even though the prosecutor did not expressly recite the 10-year cap, the parties had “referred generally to the sentencing recommendation provision of the plea agreement a number of times,” so that “there could be no misunderstanding as to what the parties were referring to, or what the State’s sentencing recommendation was, despite the absence of the precise words.” ¶23.


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