Lavar Quientez Dickerson v. Commonwealth of Virginia

COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA UNPUBLISHED Present: Judges Fulton, Ortiz and Raphael LAVAR QUIENTEZ DICKERSON MEMORANDUM OPINION* v. Record No. 1112-21-1 PER CURIAM AUGUST 2, 2022 COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF WILLIAMSBURG AND COUNTY OF JAMES CITY Holly B. Smith, Judge (Charles E. Haden, on brief), for appellant. (Jason S. Miyares, Attorney General; Robin M. Nagel, Assistant Attorney General, on brief), for appellee. Appellant Lavar Quientez Dickerson pleaded guilty to distribution of a Schedule I or II controlled substance in violation of Code § 18.2-248. On appeal, Dickerson argues that the trial court erred in accepting his guilty plea because he did not enter a “voluntary, knowing, and intelligent plea to the charge.” He also contends that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing him to ten years in prison, with six years and three months suspended. Because his arguments are “wholly without merit,” Code § 17.1-403(ii)(a); Rule 5A:27(a), we dispense with oral argument and affirm the decision of the trial court. BACKGROUND “In accordance with familiar principles of appellate review, the facts will be stated in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, the prevailing party at trial.” Gerald v. Commonwealth, 295 Va. 469, 472 (2018) (quoting Scott v. Commonwealth, 292 Va. 380, 381 (2016)). In doing so, * Pursuant to Code § 17.1-413, this opinion is not designated for publication. we discard any of appellant’s conflicting evidence and regard as true all credible evidence favorable to the Commonwealth and all inferences that may reasonably be drawn from that evidence. Id. at 473. A grand jury indicted Dickerson for distributing a Schedule I or II controlled substance. Dickerson and his attorney subsequently completed a document entitled “Questions Asked the Defendant Before the Court Accepts a Plea of Guilty.” Dickerson confirmed that he was indicted for cocaine distribution and that he fully understood the charge against him. He agreed that he had adequate time to discuss any possible defenses with his attorney, that he alone decided to plead guilty, and that he was entering the guilty plea “freely and voluntarily” because he was “in fact, guilty of the crime[] charged.” He acknowledged that he was waiving certain rights by pleading guilty. He also acknowledged that the maximum punishment for the offense charged was forty years’ imprisonment and a fine of $500,000. Finally, he confirmed that he understood all of the questions asked. On August 2, 2021, Dickerson pleaded guilty to the charge of distributing a Schedule I or II controlled substance.1 The parties presented the trial court with Dickerson’s written responses to the colloquy questions. The trial court then conducted its own colloquy with Dickerson. Dickerson confirmed that he and his attorney discussed the charge, its elements, what the Commonwealth needed to prove, and any possible defenses. Dickerson stated that he was “freely and voluntarily” pleading guilty. The trial court reviewed with Dickerson certain rights he was waiving by entering the guilty plea. Dickerson responded that he understood that he could be incarcerated …

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