1999 Elkhart County conviction for cocaine dealing reversed due - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

1999 Elkhart County conviction for cocaine dealing reversed due to translator error

The Indiana Supreme Court overturned the 1999 Elkhart conviction of Victor Ponce Thursday, after it was ruled he did not receive adequate translation of his rights.

The court ruled that Ponce, an non-native English speaker, received a translation of his rights so inaccurate that it invalidated his earlier guilty plea.

Ponce was charged in 1999 with two counts of delivery of cocaine within a thousand feet of a school, a Class A Felony. While he plead guilty and was convicted, his "Boykin rights" require that he affirms his guilty plea is being given knowingly and voluntarily.

Ponce originally filed a pro se petition in 2010 alleging the translation was not clear enough for him to knowingly waive his rights. After reviewing his case record, the Supreme Court agreed and vacated his conviction.

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