State Supreme Court refuses to entertain conditional guilty pleas
The state of Colorado Supreme Court announced in an opinion that conditional guilty pleas will not be allowed. Conditional guilty pleas are fairly common in federal courts under FRCP 11(a)(2), and were previously used in this state to allow an accused party to plead guilty to a charge, but to appeal a portion of the case, particularly motions to suppress. The Supreme Court decided in the case of No. 10SC27, Neuhaus v. People (Nov. 19, 2012) that this procedure can no longer be used in Colorado courts to preserve motions issues. This means for most criminal practitioners that in order to preserve a right to appeal legitimate 4th Amendment issues, an entire bench trial with stipulated evidence must be conducted, and a guilty verdict must be ordered by the court, creating an inefficiency in the system. Previously a court of appeals decision seemed to authorize these conditional pleas, see, People v. Bachofer, 85 P.3d 615, 617 (Colo. App. 2003). There would appear to be no authority for such a process now.