State v. Bakalov, 930345

CourtSupreme Court of Utah
Citation862 P.2d 1354
Docket NumberNo. 930345,930345
PartiesSTATE of Utah, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Bojidar G. BAKALOV, Defendant and Petitioner.
Decision Date27 October 1993

Jan Graham, Atty. Gen., Joanne C. Slotnik, Asst. Atty. Gen., Salt Lake City, for plaintiff.

Andrew A. Valdez, Carlos A. Esqueda, Ronald S. Fujino, Salt Lake City, for defendant.



The issue before us on this petition for certiorari to the Utah Court of Appeals is whether defendant was denied the right to self-representation at his trial for the crime of rape. The opinion of the court of appeals can be found in State v. Bakalov, 849 P.2d 629 (Utah Ct.App.1993). Judge Jackson found no error and would have affirmed the conviction. Judge Orme would have remanded the case to allow the trial court to enter findings, post hoc, on whether defendant knowingly and intelligently waived his right to assistance of counsel. Judge Greenwood, writing the lead opinion, would have reversed and remanded the case for a new trial but reluctantly joined Judge Orme because she considered his choice more palatable than the affirmance favored by Judge Jackson. We conclude that Judge Greenwood's ruling to reverse and remand for a new trial was legally correct. By this order, we grant defendant's petition for certiorari but require no further briefing by the parties.

Precedent is clear. Defendants who knowingly and intelligently waive their right to assistance of counsel must be allowed to conduct their own defense. The case is remanded to the court of appeals for the reasons relied on by Judge Greenwood:

The circumstances existing prior to Dr. Bakalov's trial cannot be recreated. ... [T]he trial court never advised Dr. Bakalov of the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation and thus could not then or now assess his responses to that advice.

Bakalov, 849 P.2d at 637. 1 Compare State v. Ramirez, 817 P.2d 774 (Utah 1991), where this court stated:

To ask the trial court to address the admissibility question now would be to tempt it to reach a post hoc rationalization for the admission of this pivotal evidence. Such a mode of proceeding holds too much potential for abuse. The only fair way to proceed is to vacate defendant's conviction and remand the matter for retrial.

Id. at 789. The court of appeals is directed to remand the case to the trial court for a new trial with the following instructions: We hold that the trial court applied the wrong legal standard in predicating Dr. Bakalov's...

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5 cases
  • State v. Bakalov, 940523
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • May 11, 1999
    ...his constitutional right to present his own defense. See State v. Bakalov, 849 P.2d 629, 637 (Ct.App.), cert. granted and remanded, 862 P.2d 1354, 1355 (Utah) (per curiam), enforced, 864 P.2d 1370 (Ct.App.1993) (per curiam) (remanding to trial court). On retrial, Bakalov represented himself......
  • State v. Rohwedder, 20150357-CA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Utah
    • September 20, 2018
    ...knowingly and intelligently waive their right to assistance of counsel must be allowed to conduct their own defense." State v. Bakalov , 862 P.2d 1354, 1355 (Utah 1993) (per curiam). The "choice of self-representation often results in detrimental consequences to the defendant," Bakalov , 19......
  • State v. Patton, 20210681-CA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Utah
    • April 6, 2023
    ...did not appoint standby counsel, as the court did in Petty, see id., and as our supreme court has recommended, see State v. Bakalov, 862 P.2d 1354, 1355 (Utah 1993) (per curiam) ("The court is also urged to appoint standby counsel to preserve [the defendant's] right to self-representation a......
  • State v. McDonald, 940105-CA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Utah
    • July 18, 1996
    ...of the Utah Constitution also guarantees this right, State v. Bakalov, 849 P.2d 629, 632 (Utah App.), rev'd on other grounds per curiam, 862 P.2d 1354 (Utah 1993), as does state statutory law, Utah Code Ann. § 77-1-6(1)(a) (1995). To force counsel on a defendant "can only lead [the defendan......
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