State v. Frampton

In State v. Frampton, 737 P.2d 183, 187 (Utah 1987), the Court recommended that our trial courts conduct, on the record, a colloquy with the defendant wishing to represent himself to ascertain whether the waiver of counsel is knowing and voluntary. 737 P.2d at 187. The Court provided guidance as to the substance of that colloquy, but were careful to note that the validity of a waiver would turn not on whether the trial judge actually conducted the colloquy, but rather "upon the particular facts and circumstances surrounding each case." Id. at 188. Beyond the colloquy, we will "look at any evidence in the record which shows a defendant's actual awareness of the risks of proceeding pro se." Id. The Court found that a defendant knowingly and intelligently waived his right to counsel when he affirmatively requested to proceed pro se despite the fact that the trial court had not engaged in a colloquy. The Court reasoned that the defendant should have realized the "value of counsel" because he was represented by counsel in a prior trial. Additionally, the Court concluded that he must have realized the seriousness of the charges filed against him because the judge had appointed standby counsel over his objection and the judge had explained the charges, including the maximum penalty associated therewith, in two prior trials involving the same charges. (Id. at 189.)