What Happens To My Rights If I Enter A Guilty Plea?

Crim.R. 11 requires that a trial court advise a defendant of all of her rights in felony cases prior to accepting a guilty or no contest plea to ensure that the plea is entered into knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily.  However, most trial courts have adopted the felony standard even for serious and petty misdemeanors. 

The Court of Appeals of Ohio for the Seventh District issued an opinion in on March 15, 2010, that provides a nice overview of various rights waived upon entering a plea.  The rights are divided into constitutional and nonconstitutional as follows:

The constitutional rights waived are: 1) a jury trial; 2) confrontation of witnesses against her;  3) the compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in her favor;  4) that the state must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt on each element of the offense against her, and 5) that the defendant cannot be compelled to testify against herself.  Stave v. Heverly, 2010-Ohio-1005.

The nonconstitutional rights are that: 1) the defendant must be informed of the nature of the charges; 2) the defendant must be informed of the maximum penalty involved, which includes an advisement on post-release control, if it is applicable; 3) the defendant must be informed, if applicable, that she is not eligible for probation or the imposition of community control sanctions, and 4) the defendant must be informed that after entering a guilty plea or a no contest plea, the court may proceed to judgment and sentence.  Id.

Failure to strictly comply with the constitutional rights and substantially comply with the nonconstitutional rights will invalidate the plea.  This means that the invalid plea can subsequently be withdrawn and is often grounds for an appeal.

Also, all this might be avoided by hiring a competent DUI Lawyer to thoroughly evaluate your case.  There can be defenses to your case that you are not aware of.  The more defects we can discovery in your case the better chance of being found NOT guilty!

And remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI in the Cincinnati Area – including: Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont, Montgomery, and Greene Counties – call me, Robert Healey, or one of my associates at 513.333.0014.  We are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.  Because now is the perfect time to put a team that includes a FORMER POLICE OFFICER and TWO FORMER PROSECUTORS to work….for you!

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