Alaska R. Crim. P. 11

As amended through April 7, 2021
Rule 11 - Pleas
(a)Alternatives. A defendant may plead not guilty, guilty or nolo contendere. If a defendant refuses to plead, stands mute, or if a defendant corporation fails to appear, the court shall enter a plea of not guilty. The defendant may appear by use of telephonic or contemporaneous two-way videoconference equipment pursuant to Criminal Rules 38.1 and 38.2.
(b)Extension of Time for Pleading. If the defendant requests an extension of time for entering a plea, then the court shall allow the defendant until the next day following the arraignment, or until such further time as the court considers reasonable, to plead to the indictment or information.
(c)Pleas of Guilty or Nolo Contendere. The court shall not accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere from a defendant without first addressing the defendant personally and
(1) determining that the defendant understands the nature of the charge; and
(2) informing the defendant that by a plea of guilty or nolo contendere the defendant waives the right to trial by jury or trial by a judge and the right to confront adverse witnesses; and
(3) informing the defendant:
(A) of the mandatory minimum punishment, if any, and the maximum possible punishment provided by the statute defining the offense to which the plea is offered, and
(B) that the defendant has the right to plead not guilty or to persist in that plea if it has already been made, or to plead guilty, and
(C) that if the defendant is not a citizen of the United States, a conviction of a crime may have the consequences of deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization pursuant to federal law; and
(4) if the defendant is charged with a sex offense as defined in AS 12.63.100 or child kidnapping as defined in AS 12.63.100, informing the defendant in writing of the requirements of AS 12.63.010 and, if it can be determined by the court, the period of registration required under AS 12.63; and
(5) in cases when a plea agreement has been accepted by a court, informing the defendant:
(A) that the defendant waives the right to appeal a sentence as excessive and waives the right to seek reduction of a sentence under Criminal Rule 35 if a plea agreement between the defendant and the prosecuting attorney provides for a specific sentence or a sentence equal to or less than a specified maximum; and
(B) that the defendant waives the right to appeal as excessive that portion of a sentence that is less than or equal to a minimum sentence specified in a plea agreement between the defendant and the prosecuting attorney and waives the right to seek reduction of a sentence under Criminal Rule 35 to a length less than the length of the minimum sentence.
(d)Insuring That the Plea is Voluntary. The court shall not accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere without first, by addressing the defendant personally in open court, determining that the plea is voluntary and not the result of force or threats or of promises apart from a plea agreement. The court shall also inquire of the prosecuting attorney, defense counsel and the defendant to determine whether the defendant's willingness to plead guilty or nolo contendere results from prior discussions between the attorney for the state and the defendant or the defendant's attorney.
(e)Plea Agreement Procedure.
(1)Disclosure of Sentencing Agreement. If the parties reach a sentencing agreement, the court shall require disclosure of the agreement in open court at the time the plea is offered. Once the agreement has been disclosed, the court may accept or reject the agreement, or may defer that decision until receipt of a presentence report. If the court accepts the agreement, the court may impose sentence without a presentence investigation.
(2)Acceptance of Agreement. If the court accepts the agreement, the court shall impose sentence in accordance with the terms of that agreement.
(3)Rejection of Agreement. If the court rejects the agreement, the court shall inform the parties of this fact and advise the prosecuting attorney and the defendant personally in open court that the court is not bound by the agreement. If the court rejects the agreement as too lenient, the court shall then afford the defendant the opportunity to withdraw the plea. If the court rejects the agreement as too severe, the court shall then afford the prosecuting attorney the opportunity to withdraw from the agreement.
(f)Determining the Accuracy of Plea. The court shall not enter a judgment upon a plea of guilty without first being satisfied that there is a reasonable basis for the plea.
(g)Record. An electronic recording shall be made of the entire proceeding or proceedings.
(h)Plea Withdrawal.
(1) A defendant may not withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere as a matter of right. A defendant may move for withdrawal of the plea without alleging innocence of the charge to which the plea has been entered.
(2) Before sentencing, the trial court shall allow a defendant to withdraw a plea whenever the defendant, upon timely motion, proves that withdrawal is necessary to correct manifest injustice. Absent a showing that withdrawal is necessary to correct manifest injustice, the trial court may in its discretion allow the defendant to withdraw a plea for any fair and just reason unless the prosecution has been substantially prejudiced by reliance upon the defendant's plea.
(3) After imposition of sentence, the withdrawal of a plea may be sought only under AS 12.72. A defendant requesting post-sentence plea withdrawal must prove that withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice.
(4) Withdrawal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice whenever it is demonstrated that:
(A) The defendant was denied the effective assistance of counsel guaranteed by constitution, statute or rule, or
(B) The plea was not entered or ratified by the defendant or a person authorized to act in the defendant's behalf, or
(C) The plea was involuntary, or was entered without knowledge of the charge or that the sentence actually imposed could be imposed, or
(D) The defendant did not receive the charge or sentence concessions contemplated by the plea agreement, and
(i) the prosecuting attorney failed to seek or opposed the concessions promised in the plea agreement, or
(ii) after being advised that the court no longer concurred and after being called upon to affirm or withdraw the plea, the defendant did not affirm the plea.
(5) A plea of guilty or nolo contendere which is not accepted or has been withdrawn shall not be received against the defendant in any criminal proceeding.
(i)Restorative Justice Programs.
(1) With the consent of the victim(s), the prosecutor, and the defendant(s), the judge may refer a case to a restorative justice program. The parties must inform the restorative justice program about any applicable mandatory sentencing provisions at the time the matter is submitted to the program. The parties may propose to the court the sentence recommended by the participants in proceedings convened by that program.
(2) The parties may include the recommendations of the restorative justice program in a sentencing agreement subject to the provisions of subsection (e).
(3) The term "restorative justice program" means a program using a process in which persons having an interest in a specific offense collectively resolve how to respond to the offense, its aftermath, and its implications for the future. Restorative justice programs include, but are not limited to, circle sentencing, family group conferencing, reparative boards, and victim/offender mediation. For purposes of this rule, the term "restorative justice program" does not include the Alaska Court System's therapeutic courts.
(4) Except as provided below, the sentencing judge shall not participate directly in any restorative justice program to which a case is referred for sentencing recommendations.
(A) The judge may be present during the proceedings of the program provided that:
(i) the proceedings are conducted on the record; or
(ii) minutes of the proceedings are kept in a manner that the parties agree will fairly and accurately represent what is said at those proceedings.
(B) The judge may speak at these proceedings provided that the judge's comments do not detract or appear to detract from the judge's neutrality.

Alaska R. Crim. P. 11

Adopted by SCO 4 October 4, 1959; amended by SCO 98 effective September 16, 1968; amended by SCO 157 effective February 15, 1973; by SCO 427 effective August 1, 1980; by SCO 589 effective January 1, 1984; by SCO 606 effective October 4, 1984; SCO 660 effective November 7, 1985; by SCO 662 effective March 15, 1986; and by SCO 719 effective August 1, 1986; by SCO 750 effective December 15, 1986; by SCO 1153 effective July 15, 1994; by SCO 1194 effective July 15, 1995; by SCO 1204 effective July 15, 1995; by SCO 1222 effective August 8, 1995; by SCO 1242 effective July 15, 1996; by SCO 1343 effective January 1, 1999; by SCO 1382 effective April 15, 2000; by SCO 1590 effective April 15, 2006; and by SCO 1816 effective April 15, 2014; SCO 1951 effective July 9, 2019.

Note to SCO 1204: Criminal Rule 11(c)(4) was added by ch. 41 § 10 SLA 1994. Section 5 of this order is adopted for the sole reason that the legislature has mandated the amendments.

Note to SCO 1242: Criminal Rules 11(c) and (h) were amended by ch. 79 §§ 24 & 26 SLA 1995. Sections 1 and 2 of this order are adopted for the sole reason that the legislature has mandated the amendments.

LAW REVIEW COMMENTARIES

"Guilty But Mentally Ill: The Ethical Dilemma of Mental Illness as a Tool of the Prosecution," 32 Alaska L. Rev. 1 (2015).

"Advancing Tribal Court Criminal Jurisdiction in Alaska," 32 Alaska L. Rev. 93 (2015).