ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE:
SHAWN RAMSEY JEFFREY A. MODISETT
Anderson, Indiana Attorney General of Indiana
RANDI E. FROUG
Deputy Attorney General
COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA
CLARENCE BLAND, )
vs. ) No. 48A02-9809-CR-739
STATE OF INDIANA, )
APPEAL FROM THE MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
The Honorable Fredrick Spencer, Judge
Cause No. 48C01-9709-CF-173
March 22, 1999
OPINION - FOR PUBLICATION
Clarence Bland appeals his convictions for operating a motor vehicle while
intoxicated, a Class D felony;See footnote
operating while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor;See footnote
operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, a Class C felony.See footnote
Bland raises one issue on
appeal, which we restate as two:
I. Whether the trial court erred by accepting Bland's guilty plea.
II. Whether the trial court erred by denying Bland's motion to withdraw his
Bland pleaded guilty to the above charges pursuant to a plea agreement. The trial
court accepted his plea. At his sentencing hearing, Bland made an oral motion to withdraw
his guilty plea, which was denied by the trial court. This appeal ensued. Additional facts
will be provided as necessary.
Acceptance of Guilty Plea
Bland contends that the trial court should not have accepted his guilty plea because
he also proclaimed his innocence with respect to operating a vehicle after a lifetime
suspension. A judge may not accept a plea of guilty when the defendant both pleads guilty
and maintains his innocence at the same time. Ross v. State, 456 N.E.2d 420, 423 (Ind.
1983). To accept such a plea constitutes reversible error. Id. This rule applies only to
defendants who plead guilty and maintain their innocence at the same time. This was not the
case here. At his guilty plea hearing, Bland initially informed the court that he did not
believe his license was suspended for life. The trial court informed Bland that he had a right
to a trial and was under no obligation to plead guilty. The trial court also pointed out the
State's evidence, BMV records, demonstrating the license suspension and ordered a recess
so that Bland could examine the evidence. After the recess, the trial court fully apprised
Bland of his rights. Bland pleaded guilty to all counts. After the State set forth the factual
basis for the plea, Bland stated, "[my] license wasn't suspended for life in no court." Despite
this comment, Bland admitted that the State's evidence showed that his license had been
suspended for life in March 1982 and that notice of the suspension was mailed to his last
known address. Bland did not plead guilty while simultaneously proclaiming his innocence;
thus, the trial court did not err by accepting his guilty plea.II.
Withdrawal of Guilty Plea
At his sentencing hearing, Bland made an oral motion to withdraw his earlier guilty
plea. The trial court denied the motion. Bland argues this was error. Ind. Code § 35-35-1-
4(b) (1993) permits a defendant to file a motion to withdraw his guilty plea after its entry but
prior to sentencing. Coomer v. State, 652 N.E.2d 60, 61 (Ind. 1995). A defendant who
moves to withdraw a guilty plea under IC 35-35-1-4(b) must tender a written, verified motion
that presents specific facts to support the withdrawal of the guilty plea. The trial court is
required to grant a motion to withdraw a guilty plea only if the defendant proves that
withdrawal of the plea is necessary to correct a manifest injustice. Id. at 62. Unless the
defendant proves a manifest injustice by a preponderance of the evidence, the trial court has
discretion to grant or deny the request. Id. This Court will review the trial court's denial of
a motion to withdraw a guilty plea only for an abuse of discretion. Smith v. State, 596
N.E.2d 257, 258 (Ind. Ct. App. 1992). Bland's oral motion did not comply with the
requirements of IC 35-35-1-4(b). Too, Bland failed to establish by a preponderance of the
evidence that denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea would result in manifest
RILEY, J., and BROOK, J., concur.
1 Ind. Code § 9-30-5-3 (1992).
2 Ind. Code § 9-30-5-1 (1992).
3 Ind. Code § 9-30-10-17 (1992).
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