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State v. Smith, 2018 UT App 28 (Feb. 15, 2018).

Feb 15, 2018

In an opinion emphasizing the importance of a clear record that a criminal defendant understands the consequences of waiving the right to counsel at sentencing, the Court of Appeals vacated a sentence entered without counsel for the defendant present.  Although the Court concluded the criminal defendant clearly expressed a desire to be sentenced without counsel, it held his waiver was not sufficiently knowing and intelligent to be valid.  This was true despite the district court’s attempts to conduct a colloquy with the defendant.