Collateral effects

On 20 March 2012, NMCCA decided United States v. Jones; and in doing so they have answered a question that was not unexpected, but took a little while to come.

In United States v. Miller, 63 M.J. 452 (C.A.A.F. 2006), CAAF decided prospectively that defense counsel must advise a client about the DoD sexual offender registration requirements when negotiating a PTA.

The question is how detailed must the advice be and what about additional state law requirements.  There any number of offenses not listed in the current version of DODI 1325.7 where states now require registration.

In Jones the defense counsel submitted an affidavit admitting less than detailed advice on Alabama registration requirements.  There was plenty of advice about SOR all over the record.  But,

However, the appellant did not have an in depth understanding, specific to Alabama law, which begets additional analysis to ensure the providency of the plea.  See generally United States v. Inabinette, 66 M.J. 320 (C.A.A.F. 2008). 

NMCCA at least for the moment will not extend Miller to require specific detailed advice about a particular state SOR law.

The record reveals that the appellant was properly advised per Miller.  When he made more specific inquiries regarding his intended future state of residence, he was advised to consult local counsel.  This point was captured in his pretrial agreement and twice discussed at his court-martial, where the  appellant proceeded with his plea and expressed satisfaction with counsel and their advice.

Keep in mind that if you decide to advise about Alabama, or any other state, it better be right.

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