Print Version
Previous PageFile uploaded: 5/17/2018

Rule 11. Pleas.

 

(a)Right to Counsel. Upon arraignment, except for an infraction, adefendant shall be represented by counsel, unless the defendant waives counselin open court. The defendant shall not be required to plead until the defendanthas had a reasonable time to confer with counsel.

(b) Types of pleas. A defendant may plead not guilty, guilty, nocontest, not guilty by reason of insanity, or guilty and mentally ill. Adefendant may plead in the alternative not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity.If a defendant refuses to plead or if a defendant corporation fails to appear,the court shall enter a plea of not guilty.

(c) No contest plea. A defendant may plead no contest only withthe consent of the court.

(d) Not guilty plea. When a defendant enters a plea of notguilty, the case shall forthwith be set for trial. A defendant unable to makebail shall be given a preference for an early trial. In cases other thanfelonies the court shall advise the defendant, or counsel, of the requirementsfor making a written demand for a jury trial.

(e) Guilty plea. The court may refuse to accept a plea ofguilty, no contest or guilty and mentally ill, and may not accept the pleauntil the court has found:

(e)(1) if thedefendant is not represented by counsel, he or she has knowingly waived theright to counsel and does not desire counsel;

(e)(2) the pleais voluntarily made;

(e)(3) the defendantknows of the right to the presumption of innocence, the right againstcompulsory self-incrimination, the right to a speedy public trial before animpartial jury, the right to confront and cross-examine in open court theprosecution witnesses, the right to compel the attendance of defense witnesses,and that by entering the plea, these rights are waived;

(e)(4)(A) the defendantunderstands the nature and elements of the offense to which the plea isentered, that upon trial the prosecution would have the burden of proving eachof those elements beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the plea is an admissionof all those elements;

(e)(4)(B) there isa factual basis for the plea. A factual basis is sufficient if it establishesthat the charged crime was actually committed by the defendant or, if thedefendant refuses or is otherwise unable to admit culpability, that the prosecutionhas sufficient evidence to establish a substantial risk of conviction;

(e)(5) the defendantknows the minimum and maximum sentence, and if applicable, the minimummandatory nature of the minimum sentence, that may be imposed for each offenseto which a plea is entered, including the possibility of the imposition ofconsecutive sentences;

(e)(6) if thetendered plea is a result of a prior plea discussion and plea agreement, and ifso, what agreement has been reached;

(e)(7) the defendanthas been advised of the time limits for filing any motion to withdraw the plea;and

(e)(8) the defendanthas been advised that the right of appeal is limited.

These findings may bebased on questioning of the defendant on the record or, if used, a writtenstatement reciting these factors after the court has established that thedefendant has read, understood, and acknowledged the contents of the statement.If the defendant cannot understand the English language, it will be sufficientthat the statement has been read or translated to the defendant.

Unless specificallyrequired by statute or rule, a court is not required to inquire into or adviseconcerning any collateral consequences of a plea.

(f) Motion to withdraw plea. Failure to advise the defendant ofthe time limits for filing any motion to withdraw a plea of guilty, no contestor guilty and mentally ill is not a ground for setting the plea aside, but maybe the ground for extending the time to make a motion under Section 77-13-6.

(g) Plea in domestic violence offense. If the defendant pleadsguilty, no contest, or guilty and mentally ill to a misdemeanor crime ofdomestic violence, as defined in Utah Code ? 77-36-1, the court shall advisethe defendant orally or in writing that, if the case meets the criteria of 18U.S.C. ? 921(a)(33) or Utah Code ? 76-10-503 thenpursuant to federal law or state law, it is unlawful for the defendant topossess, receive or transport any firearm or ammunition. The failure to advisedoes not render the plea invalid or form the basis for withdrawal of the plea.

(h)(1) Plea recommendations. If itappears that the prosecuting attorney or any other party has agreed to requestor recommend the acceptance of a plea to a lesser included offense, or thedismissal of other charges, the agreement shall be approved or rejected by thecourt.

(h)(2) If sentencingrecommendations are allowed by the court, the court shall advise the defendantpersonally that any recommendation as to sentence is not binding on the court.

(i)(1)Plea agreements. The judgeshall not participate in plea discussions prior to any plea agreement beingmade by the prosecuting attorney.

(i)(2)When a tentative plea agreement has been reached, the judge, upon request ofthe parties, may permit the disclosure of the tentative agreement and thereasons for it, in advance of the time for tender of the plea. The judge maythen indicate to the prosecuting attorney and defense counsel whether theproposed disposition will be approved.

(i)(3)If the judge then decides that final disposition should not be in conformitywith the plea agreement, the judge shall advise the defendant and then callupon the defendant to either affirm or withdraw the plea.

(j) Conditional plea. With approval of the court and the consentof the prosecution, a defendant may enter a conditional plea of guilty, guiltyand mentally ill, or no contest, reserving in the record the right, on appealfrom the judgment, to a review of the adverse determination of any specifiedpre-trial motion. A defendant who prevails on appeal shall be allowed towithdraw the plea.

(k) Guilty and mentally ill. When a defendant tenders a plea ofguilty and mentally ill, in addition to the other requirements of this rule,the court shall hold a hearing within a reasonable time to determine if thedefendant is mentally ill in accordance with Utah Code ? 77-16a-103.

(l) Strict compliance not necessary. Compliance with this ruleshall be determined by examining the record as a whole. Any variance from theprocedures required by this rule which does not affect substantial rights shallbe disregarded. Failure to comply with this rule is not, by itself, sufficientgrounds for a collateral attack on a guilty plea.

 

Effective May 1, 2018

 

Advisory Committee Notes