SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION: CARPENTER V. COMMONWEALTH (COA 8/10/2007)

CARPENTER V. COMMONWEALTH
CRIMINAL:  GUILTY PLEA AND UNDERSTANDING COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES RE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION
2006-CA-001012
PUBLISHED: 121
PANEL: KNOPF PRESIDING; ABRAMSON AND TAYLOR
COUNTY: KNOX
DATE RENDERED: 7/22/2007; ORDERED PUBLISHED: 8/10/2007

CA affimed denial of Defendant’s motion to set aside guilty plea which he alleges was not knowingly and voluntarily entered because his counsel provided him with incorrect information as to the requirement that he register as a sex offender. Here, it was undisputed that there was no mention of the registration requirement at the acceptance of Carpenter’s plea nor at his sentencing. In rejecting Carpenter’s arguments, CA held the misinformation related solely to a collateral matter. Further, the application of the registration requirement cannot be considered to be a breach of the Commonwealth’s agreement. The registration requirement was not mentioned in the Commonwealth’s written order, nor was it addressed in the proceedings on the entry of Carpenter’s plea. Most importantly, the registration requirement was not a matter within the control of the Commonwealth.

Because the General Assembly directed that registration is mandatory in cases in which the victim is a minor, neither the Commonwealth nor the trial court had authority to relieve Carpenter of the requirement. Finally, CA ruled that because Carpenter entered a valid plea, the judgment entered on the plea must be considered final and thus the trial judge lost jurisdiction to rule upon his motions ten (10) days after entry of that judgment. CR 59.05.

Note: This decision adds sex offender registration to the list of collateral matters that evidently need not be discussed with a defendant prior to a plea. See Commonwealth v. Fuartado, 170 S.W.3d 384 (Ky. 2005) – designating deportation consequences as a collateral matter.

Digested by Scott C. Byrd

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