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Name: People v. Jackio
Case #: C074019
Opinion Date: 04/30/2015
Citation: 236 Cal.App.4th 445
Summary

For a waiver of the right to counsel to be knowing and voluntary, the trial court does not need to warn a defendant about the full range of sentencing possibilities; it need only warn him about the maximum penalty. Jackio was charged with first degree burglary, attempted first degree robbery, and a number of other offenses and enhancements. He asked to represent himself. The trial court warned Jackio of the dangers of self-representation, including the possibility that he faced “life in prison” if convicted. Jackio signed a Faretta waiver form which provided a similar advisement. The jury convicted him of all the offenses and the trial court sentenced him to a 19-year determinate term with a consecutive indeterminate term of 50 years to life. He appealed, arguing that his waiver was invalid because the trial court did not outline the possible terms of imprisonment for the various crimes and enhancements charged against him. Held: Affirmed. No case from the U.S. Supreme Court or the California Supreme Court directly addresses the specific issue presented by Jackio’s case. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a defendant seeking to plead guilty without appointed counsel must be informed of the full range of punishments attendant upon the entry of a guilty plea. The court here concluded that such a requirement would be unworkable for a defendant who is not pleading guilty but proceeding to trial because, in this situation, there are endless permutations of possible sentences depending on a number of factors, including the jury’s verdict. The Court of Appeal determined that the “most reasonable solution” is to require the trial court to advise the defendant of the maximum punishment that could be imposed. Warning Jackio that he faced “life in prison” satisfied this requirement.