Bright-Line Rule, Larceny, Financial hardship and restitution


(Nevada Court of Appeals - battery by a prisoner reversed and remanded)

Antonio Woods accepted a guilty plea for battery by a prisoner, but he wanted to withdraw his plea arguing that his counsel was ineffective by advising him to enter the plea under coercion. The district court denied his pre-sentence motion to withdraw his plea.

 On appeal, the court ruled in favor of Mr. Woods due to the district court’s violation of the “bright-line” rule in Cripps v. State.  The “bright-line” prohibits any judicial participation in the formation or discussion of potential plea agreements with the exception that a judge may indicate on the record whether they are inclined to follow a particular sentencing recommendation of both parties. The court found that the presiding judges remarks of "you won't be remanded today" to the appellant during the plea colloquy violated the “bright-line rule.” It constituted judicial participation in the formulation of an answer by the defendant. The judges' remarks had a coercive effect on Mr. Wood’s decision to take the plea by making it appear there was another potential plea offer. The Court of Appeals deems the judges' remarks to be anything but harmless to the defendant and his decision to take the plea bargain, thus they reversed his conviction and remanded his matter as to give him the opportunity to withdraw his plea.


(Nevada Court of Appeals - larceny from the person overturned and vacated)

The appellant approached the victim and asked if he could use her cellphone. The victim eventually agreed and handed Mr. Ibarra her phone. Ibarra talked on the phone and walked away with it. Using an iPhone-tracking application, police found Ibarra and the iPhone in nearby bushes. 

On appeal, Ibarra contends that his conviction of larceny should be vacated due to insufficient evidence at trial to support the charge of larceny. Ibarra also argued that because the victim let him use her phone, he did not take the phone without the victim’s consent. The state, on the other hand, argued that Ibarra used a ruse to take the phone, therefore victim's 'consent' was not knowledgeable.

To prove that a defendant is guilty of larceny from the person the State of must show that the defendant NRS 205.270 (1). 

  1. Took property from the person of another
  2. without the person’s consent; and
  3. with the intent to steal or appropriate the property for his own use. 

Although the facts of the case supports Ibarra’s intent to steal the phone, it does not show that he initially took the phone from the victim’s person without her consent.  The appeals court ruled in favor of Ibarra that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict of guilt for larceny from the person and overturned his conviction. 


(Nevada Court of Appeals - parole revocation reversed and remanded)

The court heard this appeal from the denial of the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Ramirez challenged his parole revocation the basis of which was his alleged failure to pay $250 to the court. The defendant argued his due process rights were violated because he had no financial hardship hearing before his parole was revoked. The Court of Appeals found that the district court improperly dismissed his petition as a parole revocation necessitates procedural due process and a hearing for the parolee since there is a loss of liberty involved. The Court reversed and remanded this matter back to the district court.


(Nevada Court of Appeals - burglary conviction reversed and remanded)


The appellant appealed a burglary conviction.  Sanchez entered a guilty plea to this charge of burglary.  During sentencing, the prosecutor argued for restitution for a separate, uncharged burglary. 

Sanchez argued that this restitution the court ordered was an abuse of discretion by the district court, since her deal with the prosecutor led her to believe she would not have to pay for the uncharged, separate burglary. The appellate court in reviewing the record, determined that this separate, uncharged case was not part of the plea deal and not specifically mentioned at the entry of plea. As such, the Court of Appeals reversed the restitution for the uncharged burglary and remanded it back to the district court to amend the judgment of conviction.