As seen on:
1610 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL
Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist
When a defendant accepts a plea bargain, the court must determine whether there is a factual basis for the plea. The court also has a responsibility to ensure that the defendant fully understands the ramifications of the plea. First, the plea must be voluntarily entered into by the defendant. The defendant is placed under oath in court, and the court makes sure that she understands the following elements of the plea:
· The nature of the charges
· Minimum, maximum, and mandatory sentences
· The right to representation including the appointment of counsel
· The right to plead not guilty and tried by a jury
· The right to compel witnesses to attend the trial
· The right to cross-examine witnesses
· The right not to testify or not to incriminate herself.
· That if she pleads guilty or nolo contendere without the express reservation of the right to appeal, she will give up her right to an appeal except through a collateral attack
· That pleading not guilty or nolo contendere will result in no further trial, and that any answers to questions she answers can be used against her in perjury proceedings
· The complete terms of the plea
· That a non US citizen may be subject to deportation if she pleads guilty or nolo contendere
· That if the offense has a sexually violent or motivated nature, the plea may subject the defendant to involuntary commitment as a sexual predator; and
· That if the offense is one where there is a mandatory driver’s license suspension or revocation, the plea will provide the basis for the revocation or the suspension.