URCrP 11

Advisory Committee Notes

These amendments are intended to reflect current law without any substantive changes. The addition of a requirement for a finding of a factual basis in section (e)(4)(B) tracks federal rule 11(f), and is in accordance with prior case law. E.g. State v. Breckenridge, 688 P.2d 440 (Utah 1983). The rule now explicitly recognizes pleas under North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970), and sets forth the factual basis required for those pleas. E.g. Willett v. Barnes, 842 P.2d 860 (Utah 1992).

The amendments explicitly recognize that plea affidavits, where used, may properly be incorporated into the record when the trial court determines that the defendant has read (or been read) the affidavit, understands its contents, and acknowledges the contents. State v. Maguire, 830 P.2d 216 (Utah 1991). Proper incorporation of plea affidavits can save the court time, eliminate some of the monotony of rote recitations of rights waived by pleading guilty, and allow a more focused and probing inquiry into the facts of the offense, the relationship of the law to those facts, and whether the plea is knowingly and voluntarily entered. These benefits are contingent on a careful and considered review of the affidavit by the defendant and proper care by the trial court to verify that such a review has actually occurred.

The final paragraph of section (e) clarifies that the trial court may, but need not, advise defendants concerning collateral consequences of a guilty plea. The failure to so advise does not affect the validity of a plea. State v. McFadden, 884 P.2d 1303 (Utah App. 1994), cert. denied, 892 P.2d 13 (Utah 1995).