State v. Avila

In State v. Avila, 127 Ariz. 21, 617 P.2d 1137 (1980), The defendant was charged with child molestation. Id. at 22, 617 P.2d at 1138. He executed a waiver of trial by jury and agreed to submit the determination of guilt or innocence to the court, based solely on transcripts of a preliminary hearing and a departmental report. Id. On the basis of this evidence, the defendant was found guilty. Id. On appeal, he argued that because his submission to the court was "tantamount to a guilty plea," he was entitled to "the entire litany of Boykin rights." Id. Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 244 n.7, 89 S. Ct. 1709, 23 L. Ed. 2d 274 (1969) (requiring that a defendant pleading guilty be informed of "the nature of the charge, his right to a jury trial, acts which constitute the offense charged, and the permissible range of sentences") (quoting Commonwealth ex rel. West v. Rundle, 428 Pa. 102, 237 A.2d 196, 197-98 (Pa. 1968)). The supreme court clarified the applicability of Boykin and abandoned the notion that courts must try to distinguish between submissions that are tantamount to a guilty plea and those that are not. Avila, 127 Ariz. at 23, 617 P.2d at 1139. Instead, independent of Boykin, the court formulated a list of six warnings that "must be afforded" a submitting defendant: The right to a trial by jury where he may have representation of counsel; The right to have the issue of guilt or innocence decided by the judge based solely upon the record submitted; The right to testify in his own behalf; The right to be confronted with the witnesses against him; The right to compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; The right to know the range of sentence and special conditions of sentencing. Id. at 24-25, 617 P.2d at 1140-41. The court further concluded that the record, "as in any proceeding involving the surrender of constitutional rights," must show the waiver was "freely, intelligently, and voluntarily made" and that such waiver cannot be presumed from a silent record. Id. at 25, 617 P.2d at 1141. Recognizing the defendant in Avila had been advised of only "five of the six previously described warnings," the court remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether the defendant "was aware, prior to submission, of the possible range of sentence." Id.