FL. R. Crim. P. 3.171
1972 Amendment. New in Florida. Most criminal cases are disposed of by pleas of guilty arrived at by negotiations between prosecutor and defense counsel, but there was no record of the "plea negotiations," "plea bargaining," or "compromise." The result has been a flood of postconviction claims which require evidentiary hearings and frequently conflicting testimony concerning the plea negotiations. There has also been criticism of the practice of requiring a defendant, upon a negotiated guilty plea, to give a negative reply to the court's inquiry concerning any "promise" made to the defendant. This is designed to avoid the foregoing pitfalls and criticisms by having the negotiations made of record and permitting some control of them. See Commentary to Standard 3.1 ABA Standards relating to pleas of guilty.
(a) From Standard 3.1a.
(b) From Standard 3.2.
(c) From Standard 3.3 except for omission of that part of standard which prohibits trial judge from participating in plea discussions.
(d) From Standard 3.4.
1977 Amendment. This is a rewording of the prior rule in order to set out the responsibilities of the participants. The rule recognizes the ultimate responsibility of the trial judge, but it encourages prosecution and defense counsel to assist the trial judge in this regard. When the circumstances of the case so merit, it is the responsibility of each respective party to discuss a fair disposition in lieu of trial. For protection of the prosecutor and the defendant, plea discussions between the state and a pro se defendant should be recorded, in writing or electronically.
(b) New in Florida.
(1)(i) Restatement of policy followed by extensive revision in the form of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure.
(1)(ii) The rule sets out discretionary minimum professional prosecutorial procedure where either victim or law enforcement officers are involved to better guide the trial judge.
(2)(i) Mandatory responsibility of prosecutor contemplates disposition with no presentence investigation.
(2)(ii) Mandatory record protects both the prosecutor and the pro se defendant.
(c)(1) Renumbering subdivision (b) of prior rule.
(2)(i) New in Florida. This proposed language makes it mandatory for defense counsel to advise fully defendant of all plea offers by the state. Defense counsel should also discuss and explain to the defendant those matters which trial judge will inquire about before accepting a plea.
(2)(ii) Same as prior rule 3.171(b), paragraph 2.
(d) Now embraces and renumbers former rule 3.171(c). The content of former rule 3.171(d) now appears as part of new rule.