1. Do you understand that you have the right to a lawyer?

-The State of Florida and the U.S. Constitution guarantee you right to a lawyer.

-If you can’t afford to hire your own lawyer, and if you qualify for a court appointed lawyer, I will appoint a lawyer right now.

-The State of Florida will even pay for this lawyer to help you with this decision as to whether or not to enter a plea.

2. Shall I appoint a lawyer to represent you?


3. Let me tell you a few ways a lawyer might help you:

-a lawyer can tell you if this plea is in your best interests.

-a lawyer may tell you that you have a good case and even not to accept the conditions of this plea.

-a lawyer has the experience to help you work with the State and even bargain for different terms.

-lawyer can tell you the advantages and disadvantages of what you might say to the Court.

4. As an alternative, if you like, I could ask the Public Defender to act as standby counsel if you have any questions in the course of these proceedings.

5. Do you understand how necessary a lawyer is and how he or she could help you?


6. If you decide to take this plea you will (terms of the plea go here).

-The maximum sentence that can be imposed against you is ______.

-You may be forced to report to a probation officer for (length of time).

-You may have a permanent criminal record.

7. Do you understand that if you do not fulfill the conditions of your plea the State can ask to revoke your probation and you could be arrested and brought back to Court for a Probation Revocation Hearing, and sentenced to up to ________ in jail?

8. Do you understand the serious nature of the charges against you and the consequences of any violation of probation?


9. I need to ask you a few questions about your background:

-Can you read?

-Did you go to high school?

-Did you graduate high school?

-Did you go to college?

-Are you under the influence of any drugs or alcohol?

-Have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness?


10. Has anyone told you not to hire a lawyer or ask for an appointed lawyer? Has anyone threatened you if you do so?

11. Do you understand that the lawyer will be appointed for free?

12. Do you have any questions about having a lawyer appointed to defend you?

13. Do you understand the advantages and disadvantages of representing yourself?

14. Are you sure you don’t want me to appoint a lawyer to defend you?

[Renew at sentencing if sentence is to be imposed at a subsequent hearing].

Submitted by Mark King Leban, Dade County Court Judge, with assistance with Mary Paloger, Legal Intern (Summer, 1997).

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