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State v. Tlalpan-Meneses

April 16, 2008

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
SAUL TLALPAN-MENESES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Warren County, Indictment No. 05-11-0375.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 10, 2008

Before Judges S.L. Reisner and Baxter.

Defendant Saul Tlalpan-Meneses appeals from a June 29, 2007 order entered by the trial court denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.

I.

Defendant was charged with third-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), based on an incident in which he allegedly attacked a co-worker. Facing a potential five-year prison sentence, defendant entered into a plea agreement pursuant to which he pled guilty to the aggravated assault charge and was sentenced on March 3, 2006, to two years probation conditioned on serving 180 days in the county jail.

On the plea agreement, which defendant signed on November 3, 2005, he circled "YES" in answer to the following question: "Do you understand that if you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty?" At the plea hearing, also held on November 3, a Spanish-speaking interpreter was present to translate for defendant. At the beginning of the plea colloquy, Judge Pursel ascertained that defendant had signed the plea form with the assistance of an interpreter:

THE COURT: Have you signed this plea form?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

THE COURT: Did you do it with the assistance of your interpreter?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

Judge Pursel also questioned defendant as to his immigration status, and defendant advised the judge that he was not a United States citizen, but that he was a legal resident with a "green card."

At the plea hearing, defendant admitted under oath that he and the victim "got into an argument" and that defendant "got . . . really angry" when the victim threw defendant's hat. Defendant ...


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