What is a Plea Colloquy?

Written by:Julian Stroleny PortraitJulian Stroleny

The plea colloquy occurs after a criminal defendant enters a guilty plea in a court.  The plea colloquy is essentially a conversation between the presiding judge and the criminal defendant in which the defendant who has been sworn under oath enters a guilty plea.  The plea colloquy validates the plea.

A guilty plea can only be made if the defendant intelligently, knowingly, and voluntarily enters the plea.  Therefore, in order to ensure that a guilty plea is entered under those circumstances, the court is required to engage in a specific line of inquiry with the defendant.  In this line of inquiry, the court advises the defendant about the nature of the charge, the potential penalties that might result from the plea including any mandatory minimum sentence, and the defendant’s right to not plead guilty and to request a jury trial.  The court must receive a voluntary affirmative response from the defendant acknowledging that he or she understands each of these points.

If the court fails to engage in this line of inquiry with the criminal defendant before entering the plea, the plea will be subject to a collateral attack and may be withdrawn.  Following this, the criminal defendant will have the chance to enter a new plea.

An innocent defendant can enter a plea in order to avoid a conviction by a jury at trial.  It is important to consult a criminal defense attorney prior to entering a guilty plea.  A guilty plea can have various consequences on a criminal defendant.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise a defendant on the repercussions stemming from entering a plea and can advise on other potential legal options.

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives criminal defendants the right to be represented by an attorney during a plea colloquy.  If the state does not provide a criminal defendant with an attorney during the plea colloquy, an appeal may be sought.  A criminal defense attorney can advise you on whether to enter a plea or continue with a trial.  More importantly, a criminal defense attorney can ensure that your rights are being protected during the entire legal process.

Contact a criminal defense attorney in your area today to receive advice and counsel on your criminal case.  Contact Stroleny Law: Criminal Defense Attorney to schedule a free consultation for your criminal case.  Former prosecutor and experienced attorney Julian Stroleny has the experience needed to resolve your case as best as possible.  Call today at 305-615-1285 or visit online at strolenylaw.com for more information.  Stroleny Law: Criminal Defense Attorney is ready to handle all of your Miami and Broward county criminal cases.

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