Determining Would a Defendant Have Accepted Plea Offer With Effective Assistance of Counsel
What Factors Should Be Considered In Determining Whether An Individual Would Have Accepted Plea Offer With Effective Assistance of Counsel ?
In In re Alvernaz (1992) 2 Cal. 4th 924, 933 8 Cal. Rptr. 2d 713, 830 P.2d 747, the defendant rejected a plea and went to trial, where he was convicted.
The defendant argued that had he received effective representation, he would have accepted the plea agreement and not gone to trial.
In examining the issue of prejudice, Alvernaz looked to determine whether the defendant would have accepted the plea offer with effective assistance of counsel.
Alvernaz stated that a number of factors were to be considered including, "whether counsel actually and accurately communicated the offer to the defendant; the advice, if any, given by counsel; the disparity between the terms of the proposed plea bargain and the probable consequences of proceeding to trial, as viewed at the time of the offer; and whether the defendant indicated he or she was amenable to negotiating a plea bargain." (Id. at p. 938.)
"An additional factor pertinent . . . in determining prejudice may be the defendant's stance at trial.
For example, a defendant's trial protestations, under oath, of complete innocence may detract from the credibility of a hindsight claim that a rejected plea bargain would have been accepted had a single variable (sentencing advice) been different." (Id. at p. 940.)