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People v. Roman

Court of Appeals of Colorado

June 5, 2017

The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner
v.
Eloisa Roman. Respondent

         Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals Court of Appeals Case No. 14CA524

          Attorneys for Petitioner: Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General William G. Kozeliski, Assistant Attorney General Denver, Colorado

          Attorney for Respondent: Ferdinand L. Torres Denver, Colorado

         En Banc

          OPINION

          EID JUSTICE

          ¶1 In 2006, respondent Eloisa Roman pled guilty to criminal impersonation and received a two-year deferred judgment. In 2008, she successfully completed her deferred judgment and her plea was withdrawn and the case was dismissed. In 2013, she filed a motion under Crim. P. 32(d) seeking to withdraw her plea based on an allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court denied her motion, reasoning that there was no plea to withdraw under Rule 32(d). The court of appeals reversed, holding that Rule 32(d) authorized the district court to withdraw Roman's previously-withdrawn plea. People v. Roman, No. 14CA524, slip op. at 1

         (Colo.App. June 18, 2015).

         ¶2 We granted the People's petition for certiorari and now reverse. For the reasons more fully articulated in People v. Corrales-Castro, 2017 CO 60, P.3d, the lead case we decide today, [1] we conclude that the plain language of Crim. P. 32(d) requires that a "plea" exist in order for it to be "withdraw[n]." Therefore, there is nothing in the Rule that would authorize a district court to withdraw an already-withdrawn plea. Because Roman's plea had already been withdrawn and the case dismissed with prejudice pursuant to section 18-1.3-102(2), C.R.S. (2016), there was no plea to be withdrawn pursuant to Rule 32(d). Accordingly, we reverse the court of appeals.

         I.

         ¶3 On November 14, 2006, Roman pled guilty to criminal impersonation and received a two-year deferred judgment. In December 2007, Roman's probation officer requested that her status be changed to unsupervised, and the court approved the request on January 7, 2008. The plea was withdrawn and the case was dismissed in November 2008.[2]

         ¶4 On December 19, 2013, Roman filed a motion asking the district court to withdraw her plea pursuant to Crim. P. 32(d), alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court denied the motion, reasoning that there was no plea to withdraw under Rule 32(d). The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Rule 32(d) authorized the trial court to withdraw her previously-withdrawn plea. Roman, slip op. at 1. We granted certiorari[3] and now reverse the court of appeals.

         II.

         ¶5 For the reasons more fully articulated in the lead case People v. Corrales-Castro, we conclude that Rule 32(d) does not authorize withdrawal of an ...


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