Reffett v. State, No. 69S01-9105-CR-00375

Docket NºNo. 69S01-9105-CR-00375
Citation571 N.E.2d 1227
Case DateMay 17, 1991
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 1227

571 N.E.2d 1227
Marvin REFFETT, Appellant (Defendant Below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below).
No. 69S01-9105-CR-00375.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
May 17, 1991.

Susan K. Carpenter, Public Defender and Jonathan Parkhurst, Deputy Public Defender, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. and Mary Dreyer, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

SHEPARD, Chief Justice.

May a trial judge who has accepted a plea, approved a plea agreement, and found a defendant guilty of a felony without first ordering and reviewing a presentence report subsequently revoke his acceptance after reviewing the report? We hold that he may not.

I. Factual Background

On November 17, 1986, Marvin Reffett was stopped by a police officer in Ripley County for drifting left of center. Reffett was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a class D felony, Ind.Code Sec. 9-11-2-3 (West Supp.1990), and with operating a motor vehicle while driving privileges suspended as an habitual

Page 1228

traffic offender, a class D felony, Ind.Code Sec. 9-12-3-1 (West Supp.1990).

Reffett entered into a plea agreement with the Ripley County prosecutor. In exchange for Reffett's plea, the State agreed to dismiss the driving while suspended charge and to recommend a sentence of twenty-three months for driving while intoxicated, running concurrently with a prior sentence imposed by the Jefferson County Court.

On August 8, 1988, Reffett went before Judge Gay of the Ripley Circuit Court to make his plea. Prior to taking the plea, Judge Gay questioned Reffett to be sure he was acting voluntarily and intelligently. As required by Indiana Code Sec. 35-35-1-2 (West 1986), Judge Gay advised Reffett: "If the court accepts the plea then the court is bound by the plea agreement, if the court rejects the agreement, then you are not bound by the agreement ... do you understand this?" Reffett responded, "Yes sir." After questioning Reffett further, Judge Gay accepted his guilty plea and the plea agreement, and found Reffett guilty of the class D felony, driving while intoxicated. Because a presentence report had not yet been prepared as required by Indiana Code Sec. 35-38-1-8 (West 1986), Judge Gay ordered one and postponed sentencing until August 15th.

On August 12, 1988, Reffett's presentence report was filed. It revealed a long list of convictions for public intoxication and driving while intoxicated. On August 15, Reffett appeared in court expecting to be sentenced according to the plea agreement. Because of Reffett's history of alcohol-related convictions, however, Judge Gay rescinded his prior acceptance, entered a plea of not guilty, and set the case for trial.

Reffett negotiated further with the prosecutor. On December 23, 1988, Reffett agreed to plead guilty to the class D felony drunk driving charge in exchange for a dismissal of all other charges and a two-year sentence to run consecutive to the prior sentence imposed by the Jefferson County Court. After questioning Reffett again, the court accepted the plea and sentenced him in accordance with the new agreement.

Contending that he should have been sentenced in accordance with the first plea agreement, Reffett filed a motion to correct erroneous sentence. Noting that the defendant had accepted the second plea agreement, the court denied the motion. Reffett appealed. The Court of Appeals held that Reffett was not entitled to be sentenced under the first plea agreement because the trial court had improperly accepted it without first reviewing the presentence report. It held that until the trial court considers the presentence report, it lacks the power to accept any plea agreement in a felony case. The Court of Appeals concluded that if the trial court lacked the power to accept the first agreement, it was not bound by its terms. It affirmed. Reffett v. State (1990), Ind.App., 557 N.E.2d 1068. Because this decision conflicts with a prior decision of the Court of Appeals, Bartzis v. State (1987), Ind.App., 502 N.E.2d 1347, we grant transfer. Ind. Appellate Rule 11(B)(2)(c).

II. Procedure

The State argues Reffett's appeal from the denial of his motion to correct sentence is the wrong way to attack his sentence. It says Reffett should have filed a petition for post-conviction relief under Indiana Post-Conviction Rule 1 Sec. 1(a)(3).

Indiana Code Sec. 35-38-1-15 (West 1986) permits a defendant to file a motion to correct sentence so long as it is in writing and supported by a memorandum of law specifically pointing out the defect in the original sentence. Reffett's motion met these requirements. Although this Court has repeatedly advised that a petition for...

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46 practice notes
  • Mitchell v. State, No. 49S00-9803-CR-163.
    • United States
    • April 18, 2000
    ...double jeopardy. Indiana Code section 35-38-1-15 permits a defendant to file a motion to correct sentence. See Reffett v. State, 571 N.E.2d 1227, 1228-29 (Ind.1991). Under the statute, the trial court may correct an erroneous sentence. IND.CODE § 35-38-1-15. In Jones v. State, this Court he......
  • Robinson v. State, No. 45S03-0307-PC-314.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 10, 2004
    ...the statutory motion to correct sentence as an alternate remedy. Mitchell v. State, 726 N.E.2d 1228, 1243 (Ind.2000); Reffett v. State, 571 N.E.2d 1227, 1228-29 (Ind.1991); Jones v. State, 544 N.E.2d 492, 496 (Ind. 1989); Gee v. State, 508 N.E.2d 787, 788 (Ind.1987); Thompson, 270 Ind. at 6......
  • State v. Daniels, No. 49S00-9411-SD-1079
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 16, 1997
    ...Not "Accepted" This case raises the question of what constitutes "acceptance" of a guilty plea within the doctrine of Reffett v. State, 571 N.E.2d 1227, 1230 (Ind.1991), which held that "once a plea is accepted, a court is bound by all the terms in the plea agreement...." This holding is th......
  • Mitchell v. State, No. 20S03-9503-CR-341
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 15, 1995
    ...appellant's driver's license, license plates, and ability to register a motor vehicle. See generally Reffett v. State (1991), Ind., 571 N.E.2d 1227 (if trial court accepts plea agreement, it is obligated to sentence defendant in accordance with agreement). This provision provides significan......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
46 cases
  • Mitchell v. State, No. 49S00-9803-CR-163.
    • United States
    • April 18, 2000
    ...double jeopardy. Indiana Code section 35-38-1-15 permits a defendant to file a motion to correct sentence. See Reffett v. State, 571 N.E.2d 1227, 1228-29 (Ind.1991). Under the statute, the trial court may correct an erroneous sentence. IND.CODE § 35-38-1-15. In Jones v. State, this Court he......
  • Robinson v. State, No. 45S03-0307-PC-314.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 10, 2004
    ...the statutory motion to correct sentence as an alternate remedy. Mitchell v. State, 726 N.E.2d 1228, 1243 (Ind.2000); Reffett v. State, 571 N.E.2d 1227, 1228-29 (Ind.1991); Jones v. State, 544 N.E.2d 492, 496 (Ind. 1989); Gee v. State, 508 N.E.2d 787, 788 (Ind.1987); Thompson, 270 Ind. at 6......
  • State v. Daniels, No. 49S00-9411-SD-1079
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 16, 1997
    ...Not "Accepted" This case raises the question of what constitutes "acceptance" of a guilty plea within the doctrine of Reffett v. State, 571 N.E.2d 1227, 1230 (Ind.1991), which held that "once a plea is accepted, a court is bound by all the terms in the plea agreement...." This holding is th......
  • Mitchell v. State, No. 20S03-9503-CR-341
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 15, 1995
    ...appellant's driver's license, license plates, and ability to register a motor vehicle. See generally Reffett v. State (1991), Ind., 571 N.E.2d 1227 (if trial court accepts plea agreement, it is obligated to sentence defendant in accordance with agreement). This provision provides significan......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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