Miami Criminal Defendant Bauder Obtains a Writ of Habeus Corpus With the Help of Court Appointed Attorneys

Misadvise by an attorney as to the negative consequences of a plea can form the basis to set a criminal plea aside. In Baduer v. DOC, the Defendant already lost a hearing in which he claimed his attorney had actually told him his plea would not have negative consequences. However, although he had lost at the State Court level, he could still seek a writ of habeus corpus Federal Court.

In 2002, Bauder was charged in Miami Dade county of aggravated stalking of a minor. This is a state court crime, which could lead to civil commitment under the Jimmy Rice Act. Bauders criminal defense attorney told him that in his opinion this charge would not lead to involuntary commitment. After pleading guilty to a violation of his community control Bauder sought to set aside his plea on the grounds that he was misadvised of the potential consequences of his plea. The Circuit Court in Miami summarily denied the motion.

It was this denial without addressing the merits of the motion that opened up the door to bring a motion for writ of habeus corpus at the Federal Court level. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals said “While federal courts typically must give deference to state court adjudications of claims in a habeas petition,…, such deference is not required if the state court failed to address the merits of a claim asserted by the petitioner…. The district court found that deference was not required because the state courts failed to address the merits of Bauder’s claim. We agree.”

Based upon that ruling, the Federal Courts appointed a local pubic defender who helped Bauder brief his argument. Once it became clear that this was a case of affirmative misadvise the District Court granted the motion for writ of habeus corpus. The plea was set aside and the wheels of justice put back in motion.