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Name: People v. Cisneros-Ramirez
Case #: G055409
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/26/2018
Summary

Defendant’s waiver of his “right to appeal from [his] guilty plea” precludes appellate review of his motion to exclude statements on Miranda grounds. Defendant’s pretrial motion to suppress his statements following his arrest as obtained in violation of Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436 was denied. He later pleaded guilty under a plea bargain, and signed and initialed a plea form stating: “I understand I have the right to appeal from decisions and orders of the Superior Court. I waive and give up my right to appeal from any and all decisions and orders made in my case, including motions to suppress evidence brought pursuant to Penal Code section 1538.5. I waive and give up my right to appeal from my guilty plea.” Six weeks later, he filed a notice of appeal and obtained a certificate of probable cause issued on the basis of his claim of error on the Miranda ruling. Held: Affirmed. The Court of Appeal concluded that the written waiver of defendant’s right to appeal included not only his general right to appeal from any and all decisions and orders made in the case, but also his right under section 1237.5 to seek a certificate of probable cause to appeal from his guilty plea. “Absent something in the record raising a doubt that defendant understood and knowingly waived his appeal rights, a written waiver of those rights by the defendant, coupled with the defendant’s and his attorney’s attestations to the court that defendant understood and voluntarily relinquished each right, is sufficient to establish that the defendant’s waiver of his right to appeal was knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made.” Nothing in this record raised such a doubt. Further, the waiver was neither vague nor limited, and it expressly gave up his right to appeal from his guilty plea. It was not necessary for the trial court to expressly refer to section 1237.5 or explain what it addresses—the limitation of the right to appeal from guilty pleas.

The grant of a certificate of probable cause to appeal a denial of a motion to suppress on Miranda grounds does not vitiate a waiver of the right to appeal, nor does it present grounds for appeal following a guilty plea. The certificate of probable cause did not overcome the defendant’s express waiver of his right to appeal. Further, a guilty plea waives any right to raise questions regarding the evidence, including its sufficiency or admissibility (other than the express right to appeal from a denial of a motion to suppress brought under Penal Code section 1538.5). A certificate of probable cause cannot render reviewable a claim that is otherwise not cognizable on appeal from a guilty plea. Having entered his guilty plea in this case, defendant is precluded from obtaining appellate review of his motion to exclude statements on the grounds he was interrogated without a valid Miranda warning and waiver.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/archive/G055409.PDF