Thursday, January 22, 2015

Vacating a guilty plea

R v Shaw, 2015 ABCA 25:

[11]           A guilty plea constitutes both a formal admission of the elements of the offence as well as a waiver of the procedural requirements and safeguards of a trial.  A valid guilty plea promotes the values inherent in the criminal trial process. Although a guilty plea can be vacated by an appellate court, leave must be sought and the appellant bears the onus on both the leave application and the ultimate appeal. A guilty plea should only be vacated in exceptional circumstances: R v Hoang, 2003 ABCA 251 (CanLII)339 AR 291. Grounds for setting aside a guilty plea focus on whether the plea was voluntary, unequivocal and informed: R v Swanson, 2000 BCCA 177 (CanLII)136 BCAC 108 at para 23.

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