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Name: People v. Holmes
Case #: S102965
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 02/19/2004

The California Supreme Court granted review in this case to consider whether the trial court had established a sufficient factual basis for appellant’s guilty plea as required by Penal Code section 1192.5. Here, the trial court’s inquiry as to the basis for appellant’s plea to assault with the intent to commit rape was, “Did you do what it says you did in Count 1?” Appellant replied in the affirmative, and the court found that there was a factual basis for the plea. The Supreme Court held that because the complaint adequately contained a factual basis for the plea, the trial court complied with the section 1192.5 factual basis requirement. The Court also provided guidelines for trial courts regarding compliance with section 1192.5. It concluded that the trial court must garner information regarding the factual basis from the defendant or defendant’s counsel. The judge may develop the factual basis through its own examination by having the defendant describe the conduct that gave rise to the charge, or by questioning him regarding the factual basis described in the complaint or plea agreement. If the trial court inquires of defense counsel the factual basis, it should request that counsel stipulate to a particular document which contains a factual basis, such as a police report, complaint, or written plea agreement. A statement by the judge that a factual basis exists without the accompanying inquiry is inadequate.