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Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure

Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure

3.170. Pleas

(a) Types of Plea; Court’s Discretion. A defendant may plead not guilty, guilty, or, with the consent of the court, nolo contendere. Except as otherwise provided by these rules, all pleas to a charge shall be in open court and shall be entered by the defendant. If the sworn complaint charges the commission of a misdemeanor, the defendant may plead guilty to the charge at the first appearance under rule 3.130, and the judge may thereupon enter judgment and sentence without the necessity of any further formal charges being filed. A plea of not guilty may be entered in writing by counsel. Every plea shall be entered of record, but a failure to enter it shall not affect the validity of any proceeding in the cause.

(b) Pleading to Other Charges. Having entered a plea in accordance with this rule, the defendant may, with the court’s permission, enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any and all charges pending against him or her in the State of Florida over which the court would have jurisdiction and, when authorized by law, to charges pending in a court of lesser jurisdiction, if the prosecutor in the other case or cases gives written consent thereto. The court accepting such a plea shall make a disposition of all such charges by judgment, sentence, or otherwise. The record of the plea and its disposition shall be filed in the court of original jurisdiction of the offense. If a defendant secures permission to plead to other pending charges and does so plead, the entry of such a plea shall constitute a waiver by the defendant of venue and all nonjurisdictional defects relating to such charges.

(c) Standing Mute or Pleading Evasively. If a defendant stands mute, or pleads evasively, a plea of not guilty shall be entered.

(d) Failure of Corporation to Appear. If the defendant is a corporation and fails to appear, a plea of not guilty shall be entered of record.

(e) Plea of Not Guilty; Operation in Denial. A plea of not guilty is a denial of every material allegation in the indictment or information on which the defendant is to be tried.

(f) Withdrawal of Plea of Guilty or No Contest. The court may in its discretion, and shall on good cause, at any time before a sentence, permit a plea of guilty or no contest to be withdrawn and, if judgment of conviction has been entered thereon, set aside the judgment and allow a plea of not guilty, or, with the consent of the prosecuting attorney, allow a plea of guilty or no contest of a lesser included offense, or of a lesser degree of the offense charged, to be substituted for the plea of guilty or no contest. The fact that a defendant may have entered a plea of guilty or no contest and later withdrawn the plea may not be used against the defendant in a trial of that cause.

(g) Vacation of Plea and Sentence Due to Defendant’s Noncompliance.

(1) Whenever a plea agreement requires the defendant to comply with some specific terms, those terms shall be expressly made a part of the plea entered into in open court.

(2) Unless otherwise stated at the time the plea is entered:

(A) The state may move to vacate a plea and sentence within 60 days of the defendant’s noncompliance with the specific terms of a plea agreement.

(B) When a motion is filed pursuant to subdivision (g)(2)(A) of this rule, the court shall hold an evidentiary hearing on the issue unless the defendant admits noncompliance with the specific terms of the plea agreement.

(C) No plea or sentence shall be vacated unless the court finds that there has been substantial noncompliance with the express plea agreement.

(D) When a plea and sentence is vacated pursuant to this rule, the cause shall be set for trial within 90 days of the order vacating the plea and sentence.

(h) Plea of Guilty to Lesser Included Offense or Lesser Degree. The defendant, with the consent of the court and of the prosecuting attorney, may plead guilty to any lesser offense than that charged that is included in the offense charged in the indictment or information or to any lesser degree of the offense charged.

(i) Plea of Guilty to an Offense Divided into Degrees; Determination of the Degree. When an indictment or information charges an offense that is divided into degrees without specifying the degree, if the defendant pleads guilty, generally the court shall, before accepting the plea, examine witnesses to determine the degree of the offense of which the defendant is guilty.

(j) Time and Circumstances of Plea. No defendant, whether represented by counsel or otherwise, shall be called on to plead unless and until he or she has had a reasonable time within which to deliberate thereon.

(k) Responsibility of Court on Pleas.

No plea of guilty or nolo contendere shall be accepted by a court without the court first determining, in open court, with means of recording the proceedings stenographically or mechanically, that the circumstances surrounding the plea reflect a full understanding of the significance of the plea and its voluntariness and that there is a factual basis for the plea of guilty. A complete record of the proceedings at which a defendant pleads shall be kept by the court.

(l) Motion to Withdraw the Plea after Sentencing. A defendant who pleads guilty or nolo contendere without expressly reserving the right to appeal a legally dispositive issue may file a motion to withdraw the plea within thirty days after rendition of the sentence, but only upon the grounds specified in Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140(b)(2)(A)(ii)(a)–(e) except as provided by law.

(m) Motion to Withdraw the Plea after Drug Court Transfer. A defendant who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a charge for the purpose of transferring the case, pursuant to section 910.035, Florida Statutes, may file a motion to withdraw the plea upon successful completion of the drug court treatment program.

Committee Notes

1968 Adoption. (a) Patterned after the major portion of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11.

(b) Same as section 909.07, Florida Statutes, except the word “made” is substituted for “pleaded.”

(c) Taken from a part of section 908.03, Florida Statutes.

(d) Taken from a part of section 908.03, Florida Statutes.

(e) Same as section 909.16, Florida Statutes, except that provision is added for trial by affidavit.

(f) Essentially the same as section 909.13, Florida Statutes.

(g) Essentially the same as section 909.09, Florida Statutes, except for the addition of the charge by affidavit.

(h) Same as section 909.11, Florida Statutes, except provision is made for a charge by affidavit.

1972 Amendment. This general topic is found in ABA Standard relating to pleas of guilty. The Standards are divided into 3 parts: receiving and acting upon a plea; withdrawal of the plea; and plea discussions and plea agreements. The first and second parts are considered under this rule.

(a) Same as first part of existing rule; substance of second sentence of existing rule transferred to new subdivision (j); new provision permits, with court approval, plea of not guilty to be made in writing.

(b) From ABA Standard 1.2; the purpose of this rule is to permit a defendant to plead guilty or nolo contendere to all cases pending against the defendant, thus avoiding multiple judicial and prosecutorial labors. New concept of permitting this procedure even though the other cases are pending in other counties is taken from Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 20 which has successfully met the purpose explained above.

(c) Same as prior rule.

(d) Same as prior rule.

(e) Same as prior rule.

(f) Last sentence added from ABA Standard 2.2.

(g) Same as prior rule.

(h) Same as prior rule.

(i) This should be done in accordance with Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969), and Garcia v. State, 228 So.2d 300 (Fla. 1969). This should also include advising a defendant so pleading of the possibility of an action or charge against him or her as a multiple felon if the circumstances so warrant.

(j) From first sentence of present rule 3.170(a) with addition of requirement of determination of factual basis for a plea of guilty as provided by last sentence of federal rule 11. While requiring the presence of a court reporter, the proposed rule does not require that the reporter transcribe and file a transcript of the proceedings on a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, although the committee considers that such a requirement by the trial judge is desirable.

1973 Amendment. The purpose of this amendment is to provide a method whereby a defendant may plead guilty to a misdemeanor at first appearance without the necessity of the state attorney subsequently filing an information.



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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