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State v. Mora

August 23, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
CHARLES MORA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Indictment No. 04-09-1538.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted June 9, 2010

Before Judges Cuff and Payne.

Defendant was charged with first-degree attempted murder, first degree robbery, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, and terroristic threats. Following extensive plea discussions, defendant agreed to plead guilty to second-degree robbery, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, and second-degree aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1). Additionally he pled guilty to a charge of third-degree assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(2), set forth in a separate accusation. In exchange, the State agreed to recommend, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7, an extended-term sentence of sixteen years, subject to the eighty-five percent period of parole ineligibility established by the No Early Release Act (NERA). N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. It was stipulated that, if convicted of the first-degree crimes, defendant would have been eligible for a sentence of twenty years to life under the three-strikes law. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.1.

At sentencing, defendant sought to withdraw his guilty plea. However, his motion was denied, and he was sentenced in accordance with the plea agreement to sixteen years in custody, subject to NERA for the second-degree robbery, to a concurrent ten-year term subject to NERA for the second-degree assault, and to a concurrent five-year term for the third-degree assault. Defendant appealed his sentence. We affirmed it, and the Supreme Court denied certification. State v. Mora, No. A-3269-05 (App. Div. June 4, 2007), certif. denied, 195 N.J. 421 (2008).

Thereafter, defendant moved for post-conviction relief (PCR). His motion was denied without an evidentiary hearing on October 17, 2008. This appeal followed.

I.

On appeal, defendant makes the following arguments:

POINT I

THE LOWER COURT ORDER MUST BE REVERSED SINCE DEFENDANT RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF TRIAL COUNSEL.

A. Counsel failed to provide effective assistance during plea bargaining and coerced defendant into accepting the plea offer.

B. Counsel failed to prepare an involuntary intoxication defense.

C. Counsel failed to prepare a diminished capacity defense.

D. Counsel failed to consult with defendant in a meaningful manner.

E. Counsel failed to develop a defense strategy.

F. Counsel failed to provide effective assistance during sentencing.

G. Counsel was ineffective since he had defendant enter a plea which was not knowing and voluntary and which was not ...


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