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Name: People v. Morgan
Case #: C030469
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/16/2001
Subsequent History: None

Appellant pleaded guilty to inflicting corporal injury on a spouse and admitted two prior “strikes” for two Arkansas kidnap convictions. The appellate court here reversed and set aside appellant’s guilty plea, holding that trial counsel had been ineffective for failing to obtain the records of the out-of-state convictions from which it could be determined whether they were strikes under the California law. Counsel’s performance could not be excused as a tactical decision because counsel was simply not prepared to defend against the prior convictions and did not investigate the critical facts concerning whether the prior convictions qualified as “strikes” under California law.