CaseWILLIAM GABRIEL STARRS v. COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
(Record Number 122028)
FromThe Court of Appeals of Virginia
CounselCary S. Greenberg, Caroline E. Costle, and Timothy R. Bradley (GreenbergCostle, PC) for appellant.
Alice T. Armstrong (Office of the Attorney General) for appellee.
Assignments of Error
- The Court of Appeals of Virginia erred when it affirmed the circuit court's erroneous decision that it lacked the inherent authority to withhold a finding of guilt against the defendant herein and defer disposition of the case with the possibility of dismissing the charges, at a time when the defendant proffered a plea of guilt, but before the circuit court's act of rendering judgment and entering a written finding of guilt. The decisions of the circuit court and the Court of Appeals are in direct conflict with this Court's holding in Hernandez v. Commonwealth, 281 Va. 222 (2011).
- The Court of Appeals erred in holding that this Court's decisions in Moreau v. Fuller, 276 Va. 127 (2008) and Hernandez v. Commonwealth, 281 Va. 222 (2011) were limited to a trial court's authority to continue a case, but did not recognize the inherent authority of a trial court to take a case under advisement and continue it in contemplation of future dismissal.
- The Court of Appeals erred in making its decision based upon the incorrect presumption that Mr. Starrs had moved the circuit court for a promise of a future dismissal because at no time did Mr. Starrs request that the circuit court enter an order with a promise of future dismissal; Mr. Starrs specifically asked only that the circuit court continue his case, for future argument pertaining to a potential discharge and dismissal of the charges.