COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
Present: Judges Baker, Annunziata and Overton
Argued at Norfolk, Virginia
RAUL ENRIQUE ALCANTARA
Record No. 1490-96-1
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
MEMORANDUM OPINION *
BY JUDGE JOSEPH E. BAKER
MAY 20, 1997
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF NEWPORT NEWS
Robert P. Frank, Judge
J. Ashton Wray, Jr., for appellant.
Robert H. Anderson, III, Assistant Attorney
General (James S. Gilmore, III, Attorney
General, on brief), for appellee.
In this appeal from his bench trial convictions by the
Circuit Court of the City of Newport News (trial court), Raul
Enrique Alcantara (appellant) contends that his pleas of guilty
to three counts of aggravated involuntary manslaughter should be
reversed and a new trial ordered.
Appellant asserts that, at the
time he entered his pleas, the trial court erroneously advised
him that the maximum sentence he could receive was substantially
less than the punishment actually imposed.
As the parties are familiar with the record, we recite only
those facts necessary to an understanding of this opinion.
determining whether appellant's pleas would be accepted, the
trial court asked appellant:
COURT: Do you understand that if convicted
you could receive a sentence in the
Pursuant to Code § 17-116.010 this opinion is not
designated for publication.
penitentiary of not less than one, no [sic]
more than twenty years and that one year
cannot be suspended? Do you understand that?
In fact, appellant could have received that punishment on each of
the convictions totaling as much as sixty years.
At sentencing, before imposing sentence upon appellant, the
trial court noted that "[p]unishment for each count of aggravated
involuntary manslaughter is fixed by statute at a period of
incarceration greater of one year but no more than twenty years."
At that time, neither appellant nor his
attorney responded to the statement.
Thereafter, the trial court
imposed a sentence of twenty years as punishment on each charge,
or a total of sixty years in the penitentiary.
sentence was suspended.
Ten years of each
Once again, neither appellant nor his
attorney objected or advised the court that appellant was
previously told he could receive no more than twenty years.
Subsequently, appellant moved the trial court to reconsider
the sentences imposed, and the parties argued the motion to
reconsider before the trial court.
Even in the motion to
reconsider, neither appellant nor his attorney reminded the trial
court that appellant had been advised he could be sentenced to a
maximum of twenty years.
Appellant never made the trial court aware of the alleged
error or advised the trial court that appellant had not known the
maximum punishment he faced.
If an error occurs, the trial court
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must be given an opportunity to correct such error.
declares that no ruling of the trial court will be considered by
the Court of Appeals as a basis for reversal unless an objection
was stated together with the grounds therefor at the time of the
ruling, except for good cause shown or to enable this Court to
attain the ends of justice.
See Knight v. Commonwealth, 18 Va.
App. 207, 216, 443 S.E.2d 165, 170 (1994); Gardner v.
Commonwealth, 3 Va. App. 418, 419, 350 S.E.2d 229, 230 (1986).
The purpose of the rule is to give the trial court an opportunity
to rule intelligently and avoid unnecessary appeals, reversals,
Wolfe v. Commonwealth, 6 Va. App. 640, 642, 371
S.E.2d 314, 315 (1988).
Because the record fails to show that
appellant met the requirements of Rule 5A:18, and because we find
no reason to apply the good cause or ends of justice exceptions,
the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.
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