Legal Dictionary

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Boykin Tahl Error

If a Boykin-Tahl error occurs, the plea must be withdrawn. When a defendant pleads guilty, he must be advised of and expressly waive his fundamental rights to jury trial, to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and against self-incrimination. He must also understand the nature of the charge(s) against him and the consequences of entering into a plea agreement. Unless the record affirmatively shows that the defendant's guilty plea was voluntary and intelligent, it is a Boykin-Tahl Error. The term Boykin-Tahl Error comes from the combination of a U.S. Supreme Court Case (Boykin v. Alabama (1969) 395 U.S. 238) and a California Supreme court case (In re Tahl (1969) 1 Cal.3d 122).