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State v. Morales

October 5, 2007

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RAYMOND MORALES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County, No. 03-03-0409.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 19, 2007

Before Judges Wefing and R. B. Coleman.

Defendant appeals from a trial court order denying his petition for post-conviction relief. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

In May 2003 defendant entered a negotiated plea of guilty to second-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, and was thereafter sentenced to seven years in prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2 ("NERA"). Defendant appealed his sentence, and the matter was heard on an Excessive Sentence Oral Argument calendar. This court affirmed his sentence. State v. Morales, No. A-0244-03T4, May 24, 2004.

Defendant later filed a petition seeking post-conviction relief, alleging he had received ineffective assistance from his counsel. An attorney was assigned to represent defendant in connection with this petition. After hearing oral argument, the trial court denied relief. This appeal followed.

On appeal, defendant raises the following arguments.

DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION MUST BE REVERSED OR HIS SENTENCE BE MODIFIED DUE TO INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL; IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THIS MATTER MUST BE REMANDED FOR AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING.

A. Trial Counsel Failed To Fully Inform Defendant As To The Consequences of His Guilty Plea

B. Trial Counsel Failed To Conduct An Investigation

C. Trial Counsel Failed To Request An Interpreter When Defendant Reviewed The Plea Form

D. Trial Counsel Failed To Adequately Argue The Mitigating Factors At ...


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