Is It the Trial Court Judge's Duty to Inform a Defendant of the Collateral Consequences of His Guilty Plea ?
In State v. Ginebra, 511 So. 2d 960, 961 (Fla. 1987), the court held that a trial court judge is under no duty to inform a defendant of the collateral consequences of his guilty plea.
In Ginebra, the court addressed a claim that defense counsel failed to inform the defendant of the possibility of his deportation upon entry of his plea. 511 So. 2d at 960.
Although we recognized that deportation may be a severe consequence, we held that because the possibility of deportation was collateral, defense counsel was not ineffective for failing to advise his client about it. Id. at 961-62.
Rule 3.172(c) was later amended to require that defendants be informed of such a consequence. See State v. DeAbreu, 613 So. 2d 453 (Fla. 1993) (dismissing review and noting that rule change superseded Ginebra).
This rule amendment, however, did not invalidate the reasoning in Ginebra. See Major, 814 So. 2d at 429 (noting amendment of rule 3.172(c), but expressly affirming that Ginebra correctly states the law regarding failure to advise of collateral consequences).
See also Watrous v. State, 793 So. 2d 6, 9-10 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001) (holding that the potential civil commitment as a sexually violent predator under the Jimmy Ryce Act, 394.910-.931, Florida Statutes (2000), is a collateral consequence, but urging that rule 3.172(c) be amended to require advising defendants of it).
The Fourth District erred by equating the failure to inform a defendant of a collateral consequence, which does not affect the voluntariness of a plea, with the failure to inform a defendant of a direct consequence, which does.