Patton v. People

Decision Date13 November 2001
Docket NumberNo. 00SC82.,00SC82.
Citation35 P.3d 124
PartiesBrand PATTON, Petitioner, v. The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Respondent.
CourtColorado Supreme Court

Jane Hazen, Denver, CO, Attorney for Petitioner.

Ken Salazar, Attorney General, Paul Koehler, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, CO, Attorneys for Respondent.

Justice HOBBS delivered the Opinion of the Court.

Petitioner Brand Patton pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing and one count of possessing methamphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance, both counts in violation of section 18-18-405(1)(a), 6 C.R.S. (2000). We granted certiorari in People v. Patton, 7 P.3d 1057 (Colo.App.1999), to determine whether Patton could lawfully be convicted and punished on both counts pursuant to his guilty plea in light of the double jeopardy provisions of the Colorado and United States Constitutions.1 The court of appeals held that Patton was not entitled to dismissal of either conviction. We disagree. Patton sufficiently demonstrated a double jeopardy violation, and we vacate his conviction and sentence for possession of methamphetamine.


This case arises out of several different charges in multiple cases, each involving the manufacture and possession of methamphetamine. On February 4, 1997, police searched Patton's residence in Craig pursuant to a warrant, and discovered products and chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine. The search, however, did not disclose the actual presence of methamphetamine in Patton's home. The prosecution filed a multi-defendant information in Case No. 97CR26,2 charging Patton with manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine, possessing ephedrine, conspiring to manufacture or distribute methamphetamine, conspiring to manufacture or distribute ephedrine, possession of a deadly weapon, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The information alleged that all charged offenses took place in Moffat County between October 1, 1996 and February 4, 1997.

Patton was released on bond, but was arrested again in July 1997, following another search of his house pursuant to a warrant. This search turned up methamphetamine residue on approximately four items in the home. In Case No. 97CR125, the People charged Patton by information with two counts of unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing, sale, and possession of methamphetamine. The information also charged Patton with one count of conspiracy to commit unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing, sale, and possession of methamphetamine. All offenses were alleged to have been committed between February 5, 1997 and July 17, 1997. The trial court subsequently ordered the two cases joined for further disposition.

In November 1997, the prosecution and Patton reached a plea agreement. The prosecution amended the count of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first case (97CR26) to charge manufacture during the period from October 1, 1996 to July 17, 1997. Patton agreed to plead guilty to that count, as well as to one count of unlawfully possessing methamphetamine between October 1, 1996 and February 4, 1997, a period five months shorter than the manufacture period. The prosecution agreed to dismiss all other counts against Patton in both pending cases.

In his written guilty plea advisement form, Patton agreed that there was a factual basis for entering his guilty pleas to both the manufacture and possession offenses, and waived any further establishment of a factual basis. In the course of the guilty plea proceeding, the prosecution offered two police affidavits to establish the factual basis of the charges. Patton did not object to the use of the affidavits. The trial court accepted Patton's guilty pleas and convicted him on the manufacturing and possession counts.

At the sentencing hearing, Patton admitted to the trial court that he had a methamphetamine addiction, and that he had produced "a small amount" of the drug for his own use. Patton also submitted a written statement to the trial court, which read in part:

I have been addicted to meth . . . for a long time. I did make meth for my own use. [Other] people would make meth with me and keep some for their own use!

The trial court sentenced Patton to twelve years in the Department of Corrections on the manufacturing charge and six years in the Department of Corrections on the possession charge, the sentences to run concurrently.

Patton subsequently contested the trial court's sentence, arguing that the crime of possession of a controlled substance is a lesser-included offense of the crime of unlawful manufacture of that substance, because possession is a natural consequence of its manufacture. Patton asserted that conviction for both crimes violated the double jeopardy provision of both the Colorado and United States Constitutions. The court of appeals rejected Patton's claim, holding that "it is not evident from the face of the information and the record existing at the time defendant entered his guilty pleas that the convictions were based on identical conduct or even one continuing course of conduct." Patton, 7 P.3d at 1059. This appeal followed.


We reverse the judgment of the court of appeals. We determine that Patton has sufficiently demonstrated a double jeopardy violation. Possession is a lesser-included offense of manufacture, and the information to which Patton pleaded guilty at the time of the providency hearing contained no allegation other than that Patton possessed the controlled substance in connection with manufacturing it. We order that the conviction and sentence for possession be vacated.

A. Scope and Effect of a Guilty Plea

We begin by discussing the long-established principles of law concerning guilty pleas. "A plea of guilty is more than a confession which admits that the accused did various acts; it is itself a conviction; nothing remains but to give judgment and determine punishment." People v. Kyler, 991 P.2d 810, 816 (Colo.1999)(quoting Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 242, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969))(internal quotation marks omitted). It follows that when a defendant enters a plea of guilty, he admits committing the substantive crime charged against him. See People v. Sandreschi, 849 P.2d 873, 875 (Colo.App.1992)


By pleading guilty, a defendant waives a number of important constitutional rights, including the right against self-incrimination, the right to trial by jury, the right to confront one's accusers, the right to a speedy and public trial, the right to insist at trial that the prosecution establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the right to present witnesses at trial on the defendant's behalf. People v. Schneider, 25 P.3d 755, 759-60 (Colo.2001); People v. Johnson, 999 P.2d 825, 832 (Colo.2000); People v. Lesh, 668 P.2d 1362, 1367 (Colo.1983). The General Assembly has provided that the court's acceptance of a guilty plea "acts as a waiver by the defendant of the right to trial by jury on all issues including the determination of the penalty to be assessed, and the acceptance of such plea also acts as a conviction for the offense." § 16-7-206(3), 6 C.R.S. (2000).

Because a guilty plea effectuates such an extensive waiver, a challenge to the conviction entered thereon is normally limited to whether the plea itself was voluntary and intelligent.3 See, e.g., Schneider, 25 P.3d at 760-61

; Kyler, 991 P.2d at 816; see also United States v. Broce, 488 U.S. 563, 569, 109 S.Ct. 757, 102 L.Ed.2d 927 (1989)("[W]hen the judgment of conviction upon a guilty plea has become final and the offender seeks to reopen the proceeding, the inquiry is ordinarily confined to whether the underlying plea was both counseled and voluntary.").

A narrow exception to this rule permits collateral attacks on guilty pleas where the court lacked the power to enter the conviction or impose the sentence in the first instance. United States v. Broce, 488 U.S. 563, 569, 109 S.Ct. 757, 102 L.Ed.2d 927 (1989); Menna v. New York, 423 U.S. 61, 62, 96 S.Ct. 241, 46 L.Ed.2d 195 (1975); Blackledge v. Perry, 417 U.S. 21, 30-31, 94 S.Ct. 2098, 40 L.Ed.2d 628 (1974). "[A] plea of guilty to a charge does not waive a claim that — judged on its face — the charge is one which the State may not constitutionally prosecute." Broce, 488 U.S. at 575, 109 S.Ct. 757 (emphasis in original). In Broce, the United States Supreme Court, describing Menna and Blackledge, emphasized that the double jeopardy inquiry focuses on whether the United States Constitution forbids the prosecution from bringing the defendant to court on the charges for the conviction under attack. Id. "Where the State is precluded by the United States Constitution from haling the defendant into court on a charge, . . . a conviction on that charge [must] be set aside even if the conviction was entered pursuant to a counseled plea of guilty." Menna, 423 U.S. at 62, 96 S.Ct. 241 (citing Blackledge, 417 U.S. at 30, 94 S.Ct. 2098).

We now turn to Patton's contention that unlawful possession of a controlled substance in the course of its manufacture is a lesser-included offense of the manufacturing crime for purposes of double jeopardy analysis.

B. Double Jeopardy and Lesser-Included Offenses

Under the Double Jeopardy Clauses of both the United States and Colorado Constitutions, the state may not punish a person twice for the same offense. U.S. Const. amend. V; Colo. Const. art. II, § 18. This protection specifically includes guarantees that the accused will not be subject to multiple punishments imposed in the same criminal prosecution for statutory offenses proscribing the same conduct. Boulies v. People, 770 P.2d 1274, 1278 (Colo.1989).4 For the purpose of determining whether double jeopardy principles bar multiple punishments for the same criminal conduct, we read the state and federal Double Jeopardy Clauses to be coextensive. People v. Leske, 957 P.2d 1030, 1035 n. 6 (Colo.1998); Boulies, 770 P.2d at 1278.


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