United States v. Timmreck - 441 U.S. 780 (1979)


U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Timmreck, 441 U.S. 780 (1979)

United States v. Timmreck

No. 78-744

Argued April 16, 1979

Decided May 21, 1979

441 U.S. 780

Syllabus

Respondent was convicted of a federal drug offense upon a guilty plea. Upon accepting the plea, the trial judge explained to respondent that he could receive a 15-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine, but failed to mention a mandatory special parole term of at least 3 years required by the applicable statute. Respondent was then sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment plus a 5-year special parole term, and fined $5,000. Subsequently, respondent moved in District Court to vacate the sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on the ground that the trial judge had violated Fed.Rule Crim.Proc. 11 by accepting the guilty plea without informing respondent of the mandatory special parole term. The District Court, while recognizing that a violation of Rule 11 had occurred, held that it did not justify collateral relief under § 2255. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that a violation of Rule 11 will support a collateral attack on a conviction based on a guilty plea even when there is neither constitutional error nor any showing of special prejudice to the defendant.

Held: A conviction based on a guilty plea is not subject to collateral attack when all that can be shown is a formal violation of Rule 11. Such a violation is neither constitutional nor jurisdictional. Nor can any claim reasonably be made that the error here resulted in a "complete miscarriage of justice" or in a proceeding "inconsistent with the rudimentary demands of fair procedure." Hill v. United States, 368 U. S. 424, 368 U. S. 428. Respondent could have raised his claim on direct appeal but did not, and there is no basis here for allowing collateral attack to do service for an appeal. Pp. 441 U. S. 783-785.

577 F.2d 372, reversed.

STEVENS, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Page 441 U. S. 781



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