The Appellate Group

State v. Bozarth

State v. Bozarth, 2021 UT App 117 (Hagen, J.)


Mother called the police on the defendant, her son, who was on parole and who she suspected was doing drugs. With Mother’s consent, the police searched the defendant’s bedroom and found drugs. The State charge the defendant with drug possession. The defendant elected to proceed pro se and with standby counsel. After an evidentiary hearing on a suppression motion, standby counsel took three months to file a memorandum, missing the one-week deadline. The defendant entered a conditional plea. The district court denied the motion to suppress. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s convictions, holding:

  • The defendant signed a parole agreement that contained a clause allowing the police to search without cause. Thus, the search of the defendant’s bedroom did not violate the Fourth Amendment.
  • The defendant’s conditional plea did not allow him to challenge on appeal trial counsel’s ineffectiveness in filing a late memorandum.
  • Although district courts should conduct on-the-record colloquies explaining the risks of a defendant proceeding pro se, that colloquy is not mandatory. And the record here showed that the defendant understood the risks of proceeding pro se.

Read the full court opinion