On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Accusation No. 99-06-0484.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Graves and Yannotti.
Defendant Ozzie Walker appeals from an order entered on January 26, 2009, denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). We affirm.
More than eleven years ago, on June 17, 1999, defendant pled guilty to third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cocaine), in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1).
Pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, the State agreed to dismiss other charges and to recommend that defendant be sentenced to probation with up to 364 days in the Hudson County Jail.
During the plea hearing, defendant confirmed he reviewed the plea form with his attorney, his attorney explained everything on the form to him, and he was satisfied with the legal services his attorney provided. Defendant also testified as follows:
THE COURT: When you plead guilty, you give up rights under the Constitution, including the right to remain silent because you'll have to tell me what you did if you want me to take your plea.
You give up the right to a trial by jury. At a trial by jury, 12 citizens would be selected by the lawyers to hear the case, and the Prosecutor would have to convince each of the 12 that you were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before you could be found guilty.
Any witnesses brought by the State to testify against you could be cross-examined by your lawyer, and you could bring in witnesses to testify in your behalf. There are rights you have under the Constitution that you give up when you plead guilty.
Do you wish to give up these rights and plead guilty?
THE COURT: Did anybody force you or threaten you into ...