State of Utah v. Edwards

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State of Utah v. Edwards, Case No. 20000734-CA, Filed January 5, 2001 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS


State of Utah,
Plaintiff and Appellee,


Henry Edwards,
Defendant and Appellant.

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 20000734-CA

January 5, 2001 2001 UT App 7 -----

Second District, Ogden Department
The Honorable Roger B. Dutson

Maurice Richards, Ogden, for Appellant
Jan Graham and Laura B. Dupaix, Salt Lake City, for Appellee


Before Judges Greenwood, Davis, and Thorne.


Appellant Henry Edwards appeals his sentence following his conviction of possession of a controlled substance, a third degree felony. This case is before the court on a sua sponte motion for summary affirmance.

Edwards entered a plea of no contest to the reduced charge of possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to serve an indeterminate term of zero to five years in prison. Edward's docketing statement claims that he was improperly arrested, that the trial court erred in denying a motion to suppress, and that his sentence was excessive.

As a general rule, "[a] voluntary guilty plea is a waiver of the right to appeal all nonjurisdictional issues, including alleged pre-plea constitutional violations." State v. Sery, 758 P.2d 936, 938 (Utah Ct. App. 1988). A plea of no contest has the same effect as a guilty plea. See Utah Code Ann. § 77-13-2 (1999). There is no record support for finding that appellant's no contest plea was conditional upon his right to appeal any pre-plea issue. See State v. Bobo, 803 P.2d 1268, 1271 (Utah Ct. App. 1990) ("A defendant seeking appellate review pursuant to a conditional plea bears the burden of demonstrating that the conditional nature of the plea is unambiguously established in the trial court.") Accordingly, Edwards may not contest the validity of his arrest or the denial of the motion to suppress in this appeal from his sentence.

By pleading no contest to the reduced offense, Edwards was subject to being sentenced to the statutory penalty. The contention that, despite his no contest plea, the trial court should have considered his alleged innocence in sentencing is without merit. Nevertheless, our review of the record demonstrates that the court considered the surrounding situation, the extent of Edward's involvement, and the seriousness of the conduct. This court will set aside a sentence only if "the sentence represents an abuse of discretion, if the trial court judgment fails to consider all legally relevant factors, or if the sentence imposed exceeds the limits prescribed by law." State v. Gibbons, 779 P.2d 1133, 1135 (Utah 1989). "[T]he appellate court can properly find abuse only if it can be said that no reasonable [person] would take the view adopted by the trial court." State v. Gerrard, 584 P.2d 884, 887 (Utah 1987). The sentence imposed in this case was within the limits prescribed by law, and was neither "clearly excessive" nor "inherently unfair." State v. Russell, 791 P.2d 188, 192 (Utah 1990).

Accordingly, we affirm the judgment and sentence.

Pamela T. Greenwood,
Presiding Judge

James Z. Davis, Judge

William A. Thorne, Jr., Judge