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What is a Change of Plea Hearing?
A change of plea hearing is a hearing held by the court wherein the defendant formally changes his or her plea from not guilty to guilty. These are generally scheduled once your attorney has had the opportunity to discuss a plea agreement with the prosecutor which would resolve the case.
The Change of Plea Hearing:
Numerous cases are generally scheduled at the same time and sometimes you will have to wait until your case is called.
- Once your case is called, you will approach the judge with your attorney. Your attorney will announce his name and your name.
- The judge will state to you what you were originally charged with. The judge will also go through an explanation of the minimum and maximum potential penalties that could be imposed for that charge.
- Generally, the judge will ask if you signed the plea agreement and understand its terms.
- The judge will review the charges that you are pleading guilty to and any sentencing that is included in the plea agreement.
- The Court will then take the plea under advisement until the sentencing hearing.
In most Felony cases, after a change of plea hearing, the Defendant will need to go to the Felony probation office (that same day) to complete paperwork for what is called a Pre-Sentence Investigation or PSI.
A PSI is a document probation prepares for the Judge. A PSI provides the judge with the entire background of the Defendant and helps the judge determine if the sentence contained in any plea is an appropriate sentence for the charges. There is a lengthy questionnaire that must be filled out as well as an in person interview. Your entire criminal history will be explored by the probation department. This will then be used by the judge at a sentencing hearing when determining whether to accept the plea and then determining the length of sentence (unless the plea reached is for a fixed amount).
If you have been charged with a criminal case in Kosciusko County, Wabash County, or the surrounding counties, give us a call or use our contact us form for a consultation today! The attorneys at Vanderpool Law Firm have been providing criminal defense for many years and can help you with your case.