Looking for Blakely Waiver?
What does a Blakely waiver mean?
Why is this type of waiver so important?
In this article, I will break down the legal definition of Blakely Waiver so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
Let me explain to you the meaning of a Blakely Waiver in simple terms!
Are you ready?
Let’s get started!
What Is A Blakely Waiver
A Blakely waiver refers to the waiver, by a criminal defendant, of the right to a trial on sentencing factors during plea negotiations.
In other words, the criminal defendant waives his or her right to a jury trial or court trial on sentencing factors and accepts the judge’s decision on the existence of sentencing factors.
The term Blakely Waiver comes from the matter Blakely v. Washington, 2004 WL 1402697 (June 24, 2004) where the US Supreme Court rendered a judgment applying the Apprendi Rule to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
In essence, the Supreme Court invalidated Washington State’s sentencing guideline system on the basis of the Sixth Amendment that imposed a stricter sentence on the criminal defendant on the basis of facts found by the court at sentencing.
Now, a Blakely “waiver” refers to the defendant’s waiver of his or her right to have a jury make the determination of facts relevant to the application of any type of Sentencing Guideline factors that a judge may consider.
The waiver ensures that the defendant was made aware of the rule that any factors having an upward impact on the sentencing could be submitted to a jury but the defendant accepts that the judge makes the determination.
Blakely v Washington of 2004
In the matter Blakely v Washington, the defendant was found guilty of kidnapping by the Washington State.
According to Washington’s standard sentencing guidelines, the defendant should have received 49 to 53 months for the crime.
However, the guidelines provided that if there were substantial and compelling reasons justifying an exceptional sentence, the court may impose a stricter sentence.
The judge used this authority to impose a 90-month sentence on Blakely.
However, the Supreme Court found that Blakely’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial was violated as the judge made the findings rather than a jury and then justified a higher sentence.
In Blakely, the Supreme Court made reference to the Apprendi rule stating that any fact other than a prior conviction that would result in a penalty for a crime beyond the statutory maximum should be presented to a jury and proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Blakely Waiver Example
Let’s look at an example of a Blakely waiver example that a criminal defendant may use.
A typical waiver can be drafted as follows:
I hereby waive my Blakely and Apprendi rights to have a jury the determination of any and all facts related to the application of the sentencing guidelines and consider any and all aggravating and/or mitigating factors for sentencing
Blakely Law And Waiver Takeaways
So what is Blakely Waiver?
How does the Blakely finding work?
In the matter Blakely v. Washington, the judge imposes a stricter sentence on Blakely by applying Washington State’s sentencing guidelines as the judge considered there was substantial and compelling reasons justifying an exceptional sentence to be imposed.
However, in 2004, the Supreme Court of the United States considered that Washington’s standard sentencing guidelines violated the Constitution as the judge made determinations of facts justifying a stricter sentence instead of a jury violating Blakely’s Sixth Amendment rights.
In essence, criminal defendants must be given the opportunity to submit any facts that may lead to a stricter punishment to a jury for determination and sentencing.
To allow a judge to make the determination of factors that may lead to increased or enhanced sentencing but without violating the defendant’s constitutional rights, a Blakely waiver is required.
With the waiver, the defendant waives his or her right to a Blakely trial and accepts that the judge factual determinations relevant to the application of any sentencing guidelines.
I hope I was able to explain to you what a Blakely Waiver means and why it’s so important.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
Understanding Blakely Waiver
If you enjoyed this article on Blakely Waiver, I recommend you look into the following legal terms and concepts. Enjoy!
You May Also Like Related to Meaning of Blakely Waiver
Breach of waiver
Defense of waiver
Statutory maximum sentence
What is a jury
What is a jury trial
What is indictment
What is mandatory sentencing
What is plea waiver
What is presentence report
What is sentencing guideline
What is Sixth Amendment
What is superseding indictment
Related to Criminal Law And Legal Terms
Beyond reasonable doubt
Felony vs misdemeanor
Jail vs prison
Preponderance of evidence