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Typical Plea Bargain Hearing in Colorado – Entering Into A Plea Bargain Before A Judge

Typical Plea Bargain Hearing in Colorado – Entering Into A Plea Bargain Before A Judge

Judge: In the matter of the People of the State of Colorado v. ____________________. Counsel, please state your appearances.

Are you [Mr./Ms.] [name of defendant]? What is your full true name?

Prosecuting Attorney: [Introduces him/herself]

Defense Counsel: [Introduces him/herself]

Defendant: [Defendant states his/her name.]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defendant], if at any time during these proceedings there is anything that you do not understand or which confuses you, please stop me so that either the court or your attorney can clarify it or explain it to you.

I understand that there is a change of plea in this matter. Is that correct?

Prosecuting Attorney: Yes, your Honor.

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of prosecutor], will you please state the terms of the proposed sentence.

What are your reasons for this recommendation?

Prosecuting Attorney:

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defense counsel], do you concur in the terms of the plea as stated?

Defense Counsel: [Answers]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defendant], do you understand what these attorneys have said? Is that what you are prepared to do?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: Before I take your plea and issue a sentence, you must also understand and agree to give up certain constitutional and statutory rights.

You have the right to a jury trial.

At your trial, you have a right to see and hear the witnesses against you testify under oath and, through your attorney, to question those witnesses.

You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself.

You have the right to present a defense, that is, to testify in your own behalf, to present evidence and witnesses, and to use the court’s subpoena power to bring evidence and witnesses before the court for your defense.

You have the right to a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed and that you are the person who committed the crime.

At a preliminary hearing, you have the same rights I just explained to you, except the right to have the matter heard by a jury.

By pleading guilty to these charges, you are giving up all these rights. In fact, you are incriminating yourself by pleading guilty to these charges. Do you understand that?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defendant], have you discussed all these rights, including your right to a trial by jury, your right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and your right against self-incrimination, with your attorney? Have you discussed your case and defense of your case with your attorney?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defendant], do you understand each of these rights that I have explained to you? Do you have any questions?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: With full knowledge and understanding of each of these rights, do you freely and voluntarily waive and give up all these rights?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: Counsel, do you join in those waivers?

Defense Counsel: [Answers]

Judge: Do the People join?

Prosecuting Attorney: [Answers]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defendant], before I take your plea, you must understand the potential consequences.

The potential prison sentence for the offense(s) is

_________________________________________________________

Do you understand that you may serve up to ____ years in prison?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: If you are not a citizen of the United States, you should assume that your plea will result in your deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, and denial of naturalization under the laws of the United States. Do you understand that?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of prosecutor], please state the factual basis for the plea.

Prosecuting Attorney: _________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defense counsel], do you accept the factual basis as stated?

Defense Counsel: [Answers]

Judge: Have you told your attorney all the facts and circumstances that are known to you about your case?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: Other than what has been stated here in open court, has anyone made you any other promises in connection with penalty or punishment or anything else in order to convince you to plead guilty?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: Have you or anyone else been threatened in any way to convince you to plead guilty?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: Are you under any medications, or have you recently consumed any drugs or alcohol?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: Before entering your plea, do you have any questions about what you are doing today?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defense counsel], do you believe that you have had enough time to discuss this case with your client? Have you discussed [his/her] rights, defenses, and the possible consequences of [his/her] plea with [him/her]? Are you satisfied your client understands these things?

Defense Counsel: [Answers]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defendant], are you prepared to enter your plea?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: [Mr./Ms.] [name of defendant], you are charged in the complaint with a [felony/misdemeanor] violation of section ______ of the Colorado State Statute, in which it is alleged that you [read substantive allegation of the complaint] ________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To that charge, what is your plea?

Defendant: [Answers]

Judge: The court finds that the defendant has expressly, knowingly, understandingly, and intelligently waived [his/her] statutory and constitutional rights. The court further finds that the plea was freely and voluntarily made with an understanding of the nature of the charges pending as well as the consequences of the plea. The court finds there is a factual basis for the plea. The court accepts the plea and finds the defendant guilty.