CRIMINAL LAW: Commonwealth v. Lamberson (COA 1/15/2010)

Commonwealth v. Lamberson
2008-CA-000763 01/15/2010 2010 WL 134063

Opinion by Judge Nickell; Judge Acree and Senior Judge Knopf concurred. The Court reversed and remanded an order of the circuit court suppressing appellant’s prior conviction for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants (DUI), first offense, to enhance a later charge of DUI, fourth offense. The Court first held that the circuit court’s correctly found that the district court abused its discretion when it accepted appellant’s guilty plea in absentia on the first offense without first obtaining a written waiver of his constitutional right to be present. However, the Court ultimately held that the circuit court erred in suppressing the conviction because appellant waived his right to challenge the original conviction when he failed to challenge it before pleading guilty to a later charge of DUI, second offense.

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