Davila v. State

In Davila v. State, 831 P.2d 204 (Wyo. 1992), the appellant appeared without counsel at his preliminary hearing and was bound over to the district court. In the district court, his retained counsel filed a motion to dismiss the information on the ground that he was denied counsel at his preliminary hearing. The district court denied the motion, and the appellant subsequently entered a no contest plea to a burglary charge. On appeal, the Court said: "Davila's claim that he was improperly denied counsel at his preliminary hearing is nonjurisdictional. Denial of the right to representation does not implicate "the very power of the state to bring the defendant into court to answer the charge brought against him," Blackledge v. Perry, 417 U.S. 21 at 30, 94 S. Ct. 2098 at 2103, 40 L. Ed. 2d 628 at 636 (1974), and would not have prevented a trial. The district court had jurisdiction to proceed to trial and, in fact, had it granted Davila's motion to dismiss, the state could have refiled and proceeded with a new preliminary hearing and trial. As a result, Davila's plea of nolo contendere waived his claim that he was denied counsel at his preliminary hearing." (Davila, 831 P.2d at 206.)