State v. Thompson (1994)

In State v. Thompson, 162 Vt. 532, 534, 650 A.2d 139, 140 (1994), the defendant brought a direct appeal to this Court from a plea of nolo contendere to, and subsequent conviction on, charges of sexual assault. In that appeal defendant raised a challenge to the plea based on alleged violations of Rule 11(c), claiming the court failed to both inform him of, and determine whether he understood, the nature of the crimes charged. Thompson, 162 Vt. at 533, 650 A.2d at 139. The Court held that the proper channel for defendant to bring his claim was through post-conviction relief in superior court, as there was no plain error present which warranted this Court's review. Id. at 534, 650 A.2d at 140. The Court stated that "an issue under Rule 11 . . . alleging violations in taking a plea, absent plain error, demands a factual record and opportunity for the trial court to grant relief before this Court may properly review it." Id. at 534, 650 A.2d at 140. Thus, Thompson stands for the proposition that a failure to object to the Rule 11 proceedings at the trial court level will result in a plain error standard of review on direct appeal.