State v. Allen

In State v. Allen, 223 Ariz. 125, 220 P.3d 245 (2009), the defendant stipulated to two of the three elements of a marijuana offense and was convicted by a jury. Allen, 223 Ariz. at 126-27, 7-9, 220 P.3d at 246-47. On appeal, the defendant argued that his stipulation was the "practical equivalent of a guilty plea," and thus he should have been afforded a colloquy under Boykin and Rule 17 before the stipulation was read to the jury. Id. at 127, 12, 220 P.3d at 247. Rejecting the defendant's position, the court first recognized that parties routinely stipulate to easily proven facts to promote judicial economy and that such stipulations, although binding on the parties, are not binding on jurors. Id. at 11. The Court confirmed that the "tantamount to a guilty plea" standard had been abandoned "nearly thirty years ago." Id. at 128, 15, 220 P.3d at 248. The court therefore held that "when a defendant pleads not guilty, but stipulates to elements of an offense, a trial court need not engage the defendant in a colloquy under Boykin v. Alabama or Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 17." Id. at 129, 22, 220 P.3d at 249.