What questions will a Court ask me if I pled guilty on a criminal charge?

There are a lot of questions that the judge is going to ask you before he/she will accept a plea.  These aren’t specific to you but questions he/she will ask everyone and is required to ask everyone.  Each judge conducts a plea a little differently but these are the general questions you should be prepared to answer.

Have you had time to talk with your lawyer about this case?

Do you understand what is going on here today?

Did your lawyer answer all your questions?

Are you satisfied with your lawyer’s service?

Do you understand the maximum possible punishment for the charge you are now charged with? 

Do you know you have a right to demand a trial in this matter with the assistance of your attorney of which you would be presumed to be innocent of all charges and the State would have to prove you guilty of each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt?

Do you know If you had a trial you could use the court’s power to compel witnesses to testify on your behalf at the trial?

Do you know you could testify at the trial?

Do you know that you couldn’t be forced to testify at a trial and if you didn’t the court or jury couldn’t hold that against you?

Do you know that if you enter a plea to this amended charge you are giving up those rights to trial?

Do you know if you enter a plea you will no longer enjoy the presumption of innocence in this case?

Do you know If you enter a plea of guilt to this amended charge you are giving up all of the constitutional rights that I have just listed?

Have you been promised anything other than this plea agreement to induce you to plea guilty here today?

Have any threats been made or promises made to you other than what is in the plea agreement?

Do you know that any plea offer that his been made to you in not a judgment in the case, any potential sentencing is completely up to the Court and I am not bound by the plea agreement?

Do you know that once I accept your plea I can sentence you up to the maximum punishment allowed by law?

Have you had anything to drink or taken any medicine that would impair your decision making here today?

Do you feel clear headed and are you able to make good decisions?

How do want to plea on the charge of X?

Is there any legal reason that we can not proceed with sentencing?

Do you have anything that you would like to say to the court in mitigation for the offense?

These questions are largely the same in nearly every case.  There are a few minor differences depending on the charge.  For example, on a charge involving drugs or alcohol a judge may ask more questions concerning you treatment or your drug and alcohol use. An experienced Overland Park DUI Lawyer will prepare you for those questions.


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