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State v. Stafford

April 1, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ANDREA STAFFORD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 06-07-920.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted February 25, 2009

Before Judges Lihotz and Messano.

Defendant Andrea Stafford appeals from the judgment of conviction that followed the denial of her motion to withdraw her previously-entered guilty plea. She contends that the judge should have granted her motion "in the interests of justice," and because the State would not have been prejudiced. We do not reach the merits of defendant's contentions. Instead, we remand the matter for further proceedings in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision in State v. Slater, ___ N.J. ___ (2009) (slip op.).

Defendant was indicted by the Passaic County grand jury and charged with third-degree aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(a), and third-degree resisting arrest, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a(3). By the time defendant pled guilty to a single count of fourth-degree aggravated assault pursuant to a plea bargain, on December 6, 2006, the matter had been the subject of numerous "status conferences."*fn1

Represented by counsel and under oath, after some preliminary questions, the following colloquy occurred between the judge and defendant:

Judge: You understand by pleading guilty, however, you have given up all those rights?

Defendant: (No verbal response).

Judge: In other words, the only thing that's going to happen is . . . you're going to be sentenced by the Court at another date?

Defendant: Okay. Yes.

Judge: You also understand that you're going to have a criminal record once you . . . plead guilty and you're sentenced?

Defendant: A criminal record?

Judge: Yes. You're pleading guilty to a crime, a fourth degree crime. Do ...


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