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Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure

Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure

3.160. Arraignment

(a) Nature of Arraignment. The arraignment shall be conducted in open court or by audiovisual device in the discretion of the court and shall consist of the judge or clerk or prosecuting attorney reading the indictment or information on which the defendant will be tried to the defendant or stating orally to the defendant the substance of the charge or charges and calling on the defendant to plead thereto. The reading or statement as to the charge or charges may be waived by the defendant. If the defendant is represented by counsel, counsel may file a written plea of not guilty at or before arraignment and thereupon arraignment shall be deemed waived.

(b) Effect of Failure to Arraign or Irregularity of Arraignment. Neither a failure to arraign nor an irregularity in the arraignment shall affect the validity of any proceeding in the cause if the defendant pleads to the indictment or information on which the defendant is to be tried or proceeds to trial without objection to such failure or irregularity.

(c) Plea of Guilty after Indictment or Information Filed. If a person who has been indicted or informed against for an offense, but who has not been arraigned, desires to plead guilty thereto, the person may so inform the court having jurisdiction of the offense, and the court shall, as soon as convenient, arraign the defendant and permit the defendant to plead guilty to the indictment or information.

(d) Time to Prepare for Trial. After a plea of not guilty the defendant is entitled to a reasonable time in which to prepare for trial.

(e) Defendant Not Represented by Counsel. Prior to arraignment of any person charged with the commission of a crime, if he or she is not represented by counsel, the court shall advise the person of the right to counsel and, if he or she is financially unable to obtain counsel, of the right to be assigned court-appointed counsel to represent him or her at the arraignment and at all subsequent proceedings. The person shall execute an affidavit that he or she is unable financially or otherwise to obtain counsel, and if the court shall determine the reason to be true, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the person.

If the defendant, however, understandingly waives representation by counsel, he or she shall execute a written waiver of such representation, which shall be filed in the case. If counsel is appointed, a reasonable time shall be accorded to counsel before the defendant shall be required to plead to the indictment or information on which he or she is to be arraigned or tried, or otherwise to proceed further.

Committee Notes

1968 Adoption. (a) A combination of section 908.01, Florida Statutes, and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 10.

(b) Same as section 908.02, Florida Statutes.

(c) Same as section 909.15, Florida Statutes, except provision is made for trial by affidavit.

(d) Same as section 909.20, Florida Statutes.

(e) Federal rule 44 provides:

“If the defendant appears in court without counsel the court shall advise him of his right to counsel and assign counsel to represent him at every stage of the proceeding unless he elects to proceed without counsel or is able to obtain counsel.”

A presently proposed amendment to such rule provides:

“(a) Right to Assigned Counsel. Every defendant who is unable to obtain counsel shall be entitled to have counsel assigned to represent him at every stage of the proceedings from his initial appearance before the commissioner or the court through appeal, unless he waives such appointment.

“(b) Assignment Procedure. The procedures for implementing the right set out in subdivision (a) shall be those provided by law or by local rules of district courts of appeal.” In lieu of such latter, blanket provision, it is suggested that the rule provide, as stated, for inquiry of the defendant and determination by the court as to the defendant’s desire for and inability to obtain counsel, after being advised of entitlement thereto. Many defendants, of course, will waive counsel.

In view of Harvey v. Mississippi, 340 F.2d 263 (5th Cir. 1965), and White v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 59, 83 S.Ct. 1050, 10 L.Ed.2d 193 (1963), holding that entitlement to counsel does not depend upon whether the offense charged is a felony or misdemeanor, it is suggested that the word “crime” be used instead of “felony” only in the first sentence of the proposed rule.

In Hamilton v. Alabama, 368 U.S. 52, 82 S.Ct. 157, 7 L.Ed.2d 114 (1961), involving breaking and entering with intent to commit rape, the Supreme Court held the defendant was entitled to counsel at the arraignment, if the arraignment be deemed a part of the trial, as apparently it is under Alabama law. In Ex parte Jeffcoat, 109 Fla. 207, 146 So. 827 (1933), the Supreme Court of Florida held the arraignment to be a mere formal preliminary step to an answer or plea. However, in Sardinia v. State, 168 So.2d 674 (Fla. 1964), the court recognized the accused’s right to counsel upon arraignment. Section 909.21, Florida Statutes, provides for appointment of counsel in capital cases.

1972 Amendment. Substantially the same as prior rule. The committee considered changes recommended by The Florida Bar and incorporated the proposed change relating to written plea of not guilty and waiver of arraignment.

1992 Amendment. The amendment allows the judge to participate in the arraignment process by including the judge as one of the designated individuals who may advise the defendant of the pending charges. Apparently, the 1988 amendment to rule 3.160(a) inadvertently eliminated the judge from the arraignment procedure. In re Rule 3.160(a), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, 528 So.2d 1179, 1180 (Fla. 1988). The prior amendment did include the judge. The Florida Bar Re: Amendment to Rules — Criminal Procedure, 462 So.2d 386 (Fla. 1984). While the language of rule 3.160(a) as presently set out in the Florida Bar pamphlet, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, is identical to the language of this proposed amendment (that is, it includes the judge in the arraignment process), the West publications, Florida Criminal Laws and Rules (1991) and Florida Rules of Court (1991), nevertheless follow the language set out in 528 So.2d at 1180.



Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure
3.010. Scope
3.020. Purpose and Construction
3.025. State and Prosecuting Attorney Defined
3.030. Service of Pleadings and Papers
3.040. Computation of Time
3.050. Enlargement of Time
3.060. Time for Service of Motions and Notice of Hearing
3.070. Additional Time after Service by Mail
3.080. Nonverification of Pleadings
3.090. Pleading Captions
3.111. Providing Counsel to Indigents
3.112. Minimum Standards for Attorneys in Capital Cases
3.115. Duties of State Attorney; Criminal Intake
3.120. Committing Judge
3.121. Arrest Warrant
3.125. Notice to Appear
3.130. First Appearance
3.131. Pretrial Release
3.132. Pretrial Detention
3.133. Pretrial Probable Cause Determinations and Adversary Preliminary Hearings
3.134. Time for Filing Formal Charges
3.140. Indictments; Informations
3.150. Joinder of Offenses and Defendants
3.151. Consolidation of Related Offenses
3.152. Severance of Offenses and Defendants
3.153. Timeliness of Defendants Motion; Waiver
3.160. Arraignment
3.170. Pleas
3.171. Plea Discussions and Agreements
3.172. Acceptance of Guilty or Nolo Contendere Plea
3.180. Presence of Defendant
3.190. Pretrial Motions
3.191. Speedy Trial
3.192. Motions for Rehearing
3.200. Notice of Alibi
3.201. [Battered-Spouse Syndrome Defense]
3.202. Expert Testimony of Mental Mitigation During Penalty Phase of Capital Trial: Notice and Examination by State Expert
3.203. Defendants Mental Retardation as a Bar to Imposition of the Death Penalty
3.210. Incompetence to Proceed: Procedure for Raising the Issue
3.211. Competence to Proceed: Scope of Examination and Report
3.212. Competence to Proceed: Hearing and Disposition
3.213. Continuing Incompetency to Proceed, Except Incompetency to Proceed with Sentencing: Disposition
3.214. Incompentency to Proceed to Sentencing: Disposition
3.215. Effect of Adjudication of Incompetency to Proceed: Psychotropic Medication
3.216. Insanity at Time of Offense or Probation or Community Control Violation: Notice and Appointment of Experts
3.217. Judgment of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity: Disposition of Defendant
3.218. Commitment of a Defendant Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
3.219. Conditional Release
3.220. Discovery
3.231. Substitution of Judge
3.240. Change of Venue
3.250. Accused as Witness
3.251. Right to Trial by Jury
3.260. Waiver of Jury Trial
3.270. Number of Jurors
3.280. Alternate Jurors
3.281. List of Prospective Jurors
3.290. Challenge to Panel
3.300. Voir Dire Examination, Oath and Excusing of Member
3.310. Time for Challenge
3.315. Exercise of Challenges
3.320. Manner of Challenge
3.330. Determination of Challenge for Cause
3.340. Effect of Sustaining Challenge
3.350. Peremptory Challenges
3.360. Oath of Trial Jurors
3.361. Witness Attendance and Subpoenas
3.370. Regulation and Separation of Jurors
3.371. Juror Questions of Witnesses
3.372. Juror Notebooks
3.380. Motion for Judgment of Acquittal
3.381. Final Arguments
3.390. Jury Instructions
3.391. Selection of Foreperson of Jury
3.400. Materials to the Jury Room
3.410. Jury to Review Evidence or for Additional Instructions
3.420. Recall of Jury for Additional Instructions
3.430. Jury not Recallable to Hear Additional Evidence
3.440. Rendition of Verdict; Reception and Recording
3.450. Polling the Jury
3.451. Judicial Comment on Verdict
3.470. Proceedings on Sealing Verdict
3.490. Determination of Degree of Offense
3.500. Verdict of Guilty where more than one Count
3.505. Inconsistent Verdicts
3.510. Determination of Attempts and Lesser Included Offenses
3.520. Verdict in Case of Joint Defendants
3.530. Reconsideration of Ambiguous or Defective Verdict
3.540. When Verdict may be Rendered
3.550. Disposition of Defendant
3.560. Discharge of Jurors
3.570. Irregularity in Rendition, Reception and Recording of Verdict
3.575. Motion to Interview Juror
3.580. Court May Grant New Trial
3.590. Time for and Method of Making Motions; Procedure; Custody Pending Hearing
3.600. Grounds for New Trial
3.610. Motion for Arrest of Judgment; Grounds
3.620. When Evidence Sustains Only Conviction of Lesser Offense
3.630. Sentence Before or After Motion Filed
3.640. Effect of Granting New Trial
3.650. Judgment Defined
3.670. Rendition of Judgment
3.680. Judgment on Informal Verdict
3.690. Judgment of Not Guilty; Defendant Discharged and Sureties Exonerated
3.691. Post-Trial Release
3.692. Petition to Seal or Expunge
3.700. Sentence Defined; Pronouncement and Entry; Sentencing Judge
3.701. Sentencing Guidelines
3.702. Sentencing Guidelines (1994)
3.703. Sentencing Guidelines (1994 as amended)
3.704. The Criminal Punishment Code
3.710. Presentence Report
3.711. Presentence Report: When Prepared
3.712. Presentence Report: Disclosure
3.713. Presentence Investigation Disclosure: Parties
3.720. Sentencing Hearing
3.721. Record of the Proceedings
3.730. Issuance of Capias when necessary to bring Defendant Before Court
3.750. Procedure when Pardon is Alleged as Cause for not Pronouncing Sentence
3.760. Procedure when Nonidentity is Alleged as Cause for not Pronouncing Sentence
3.770. Procedure when Pregnancy is Alleged as Cause for not Pronouncing Death Sentence
3.780. Sentencing Hearing for Capital Cases
3.790. Probation and Community Control
3.800. Correction, Reduction and Modification of Sentences
3.810. Commitment of Defendant; Duty of Sheriff
3.811. Insanity at Time of Execution: Capital Cases
3.812. Hearing on Insanity at Time of Execution: Capital Cases
3.820. Habeas Corpus
3.830. Direct Criminal Contempt
3.840. Indirect Criminal Contempt
3.850. Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence
3.851. Collateral Relief After Death Sentence has been Imposed and Affirmed on Direct Appeal
3.852. Capital Postconviction Public Records Production
3.853. Motion for Postconviction DNA Testing
3.984. Application for Criminal Indigent Status
3.985. Standard Jury Instructions
3.9855. Juror Voir Dire Questionaire
3.986. Forms Related to Judgment and Sentence
3.987. Motion for Postconviction Relief
3.988. Sentencing Guidelines
3.989. Affidavit, Petition and Order to Expunge or Seal Forms
3.990(a). Sentencing Guidelines Scoresheet
3.990(b). Supplemental Sentencing Guidelines Scoresheet
3.991(a). Sentencing Guidelines Scoresheet (October 1, 1995)
3.991(b). Supplemental Sentencing Guidelines Scoresheet (October 1, 1995)
3.992(a). Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet
3.992(b). Supplemental Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet
3.993. Forms Related to Capital Postconviction Records Production
3.994. Order Certifying no Incarceration
3.995. Order of Revocation of Probation/Community Control
Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure
Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure
Florida Rules of Evidence - Evidence Code
Florida Rules of Evidence - Witnesses, Records and Documents
Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
Florida Rules of Judicial Administration
Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure
Florida Traffic Court Rules
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