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Rule 17.4. Plea Negotiations and Agreements

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Criminal ProcedureEffective: [See Text Amendments] to June 30, 2023

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Criminal Procedure (Refs & Annos)
V. Pleas of Guilty and NO Contest
Rule 17. Pleas of Guilty and NO Contest; Submitting a Case on the Record (Refs & Annos)
Effective: [See Text Amendments] to June 30, 2023
16A A.R.S. Rules Crim.Proc., Rule 17.4
Rule 17.4. Plea Negotiations and Agreements
<Text of Rule 17.4 effective until July 1, 2023. See, also, Rule 17.4 effective July 1, 2023.>
(a) Plea Negotiations.
(1) Generally. The parties may negotiate and reach agreement on any aspect of a case.
(2) Judicial Participation. At either party's request or on its own, a court may order counsel with settlement authority to participate in good faith discussions to resolve the case in a manner that serves the interests of justice. The assigned trial judge may participate in this discussion only if the parties consent. In all other cases, the discussion must be before another judge. If settlement discussions do not result in an agreement, the case must be returned to the trial judge.
(3) Victim Participation. The victim must have an opportunity to confer with the prosecutor, if they have not already conferred, before any case resolution. The prosecutor or the victim's representative must inform the court and defense counsel of the victim's position. If the defendant is present during settlement discussions, the victim also must have the opportunity to be present and to be heard regarding settlement.
(b) Plea Agreement. The terms of a plea agreement must be in writing and be signed by the defendant, defense counsel (if any), and the prosecutor. The parties must file the agreement with the court. Any party may withdraw from an agreement before the court accepts it.
(c) Determining Accuracy, Voluntariness, and Intelligent Acceptance of the Agreement. Before accepting the plea agreement, the court must address the defendant and confirm that the written plea agreement contains all the agreement's terms and that the defendant understands and agrees to the terms.
(d) Accepting the Plea. After making the determinations required by this rule and after considering any comments expressed by the victim, the court must either accept or reject the submitted plea. The court is not bound by any provision in the plea agreement regarding the sentence or probation terms and conditions if, after accepting the agreement and reviewing a presentence report, the court rejects the provision as inappropriate.
(e) Rejecting the Plea. If the court rejects a plea agreement or any provision in the agreement, it must give the defendant an opportunity to withdraw the plea. The court must inform the defendant that if the plea is not withdrawn, the disposition of the case may be less favorable to the defendant than what the agreement provided.
(f) Admissibility or Inadmissibility of a Plea, Plea Discussions, and Related Statements. Arizona Rule of Evidence 410 governs the admissibility of a plea, a plea discussion, and any related statement.
(g) Change of Judge if Plea Withdrawn. A defendant who withdraws a plea after a presentence report is submitted may exercise a change of judge as a matter of right under Rule 10.2 if the defendant has not previously exercised that right.


Added Aug. 31, 2017, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
16A A. R. S. Rules Crim. Proc., Rule 17.4, AZ ST RCRP Rule 17.4
State Court Rules are current with amendments received and effective through March 15, 2023. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through March 15, 2023.
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