State v. Triptow

In State v. Triptow, 770 P.2d 146 (Utah 1989) the Court articulated a framework for analyzing the validity of an underlying conviction in the context of a charging enhancement. In Triptow, a defendant whose sentence had been enhanced under a habitual criminal statute appealed the enhancement, arguing that the state had the burden of proving that he was represented by counsel on the charge giving rise to the enhancement. The Court disagreed, reasoning: A previous judgment of conviction so proven is entitled to a presumption of regularity, including a presumption that the defendant was represented by counsel. This presumption satisfies any initial burden the State may have of proving that the defendant had or knowingly waived counsel. After proof of the previous conviction is introduced, the burden is on the defendant to raise the issue and produce some evidence that he or she was not represented by counsel and did not knowingly waive counsel. Once the defendant has presented some evidence, the presumption of regularity is rebutted and the burden shifts to the State to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was in fact represented or knowingly waived representation. (Id. at 149.)