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Denial of PCR Reversed on NJ Appeal

03
Dec
2010

by in Criminal Appeals

State v. Anthony Hamlet, unpublished opinion, App. Div. Docket No. A-5414-07T4 (September 22, 2010) – Denial of PCR reversed, case remanded for evidentiary hearing. “In this case, the PCR court relied on defendant’s 1977, 1983, and 1988 convictions in Indiana as predicate offenses to find defendant eligible for an extended term under New Jersey’s Three Strikes law. However, the information the State provided to the trial court regarding defendant’s prior criminal history in Indiana lacked detailed language, and defendant disputes his 1977 conviction….

[D]efendant argues his convictions in Indiana are not ‘substantially equivalent’ to a conviction for first-degree robbery in New Jersey. Under these circumstances, we conclude defendant has established a prima facie case and he is entitled to a hearing because there is a ‘reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional conduct, the result of the [sentencing hearing] would have been different.’ [Citations omitted]. Consequently, we reverse and remand for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether defendant was subject to a mandatory sentence under the Three Strikes law, and for resentencing because the sentencing court incorrectly imposed three extended-term sentences.”

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