Sample Plea in Absentia Form
In certain misdemeanor cases, the Florida Court may accept a “Plea in Absentia” which means that the defendant can enter the plea without actually appearing in court under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 3.180(c).
This procedure is particularly important for individuals who live out of county or out of state.
This form is provided for general informational purposes only. The best way to obtain legal advice about the specific circumstances in your case is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss ways to defend yourself against the criminal charges that are currently pending against you.
This form is provided as an example only. Different judges have different requirements. Always talk with an experienced criminal defense attorney about what is required for the court to consider a Plea in Absentia for any particular case.
Read more about the importance of plea agreements in Florida.
IN THE COUNTY COURT OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA
STATE OF FLORIDA, Case No.: (Insert Case No. Here)
Division: (Insert Division Here)
AFFIDAVIT OF PLEA IN ABSENTIA OF [GUILTY / NO CONTEST]
TO MISDEMEANOR CHARGE(S) PURSUANT TO FLA. R. CRIM. P. 3.180 (c)
BEFORE ME, the undersigned authority, this day appeared [name of defendant], who being duly sworn states:
1. I am the person charged in [name of county], Florida, in the following case: [insert style].
2. I wish to accept the plea offer extended by the State Attorney’s Office for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. I will plead no contest/guilty to the charge(s) of [list the pending charge(s) to which you are entering a plea].
3. I am entering into this plea freely, voluntarily, and intelligently, and I understand the following:
- The nature of the charge(s) is/are as follows: [specification of charge(s)];
- The difference between pleas of guilty, not guilty, and no contest;
- I have the right to a trial by jury or a non-jury trial;
- I have the right to an attorney and the right to have an attorney appointed if I cannot afford one;
- I have the right to require the State to prove my guilt beyond a reasonable doubt;
- I have the right to call witnesses of my own at trial and have those witnesses subpoenaed;
- I have the right to confront and cross examine all witnesses who testify against me;
- I have the right to have the presumption of innocence until the prosecutor for the State of Florida proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt;
- I have the right to remain silent and not have that silence considered by the jury or judge at trial as any proof of guilt;
- I have the right to testify at trial and have my testimony considered by the same standards as other witnesses;
- If I am not a United States citizen, my plea of no contest/guilty may subject me to deportation pursuant to the laws and regulations governing the United States Naturalization and Immigration Service;
- The maximum sentence that could be imposed in this case based on this plea is [specification of time period]. There [is/is not] a minimum sentence that must be given in this case. That minimum sentence in this case is [specification of time period].
- I give up the right to appeal all matters relating to my guilt or innocence of the charged offense if I plead no contest/guilty. I will have NO opportunity on appeal to challenge ANY legal ruling in this case UNLESS the judge imposes an illegal sentence which is greater than any sentence allowed by law.
4. I understand that by pleading no contest/guilty, I am giving up the above-listed rights and any possible defenses I may have to the charge.
5. I have not been induced to enter this plea against my will nor have any promises of leniency of any kind been offered to me to influence my plea.
6. I am not under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications at this time.
7. I am not suffering from any mental illness which would impair my understanding of this plea.
8. I am entering this plea with the understanding that the Court will sentence me to [insert terms of agreement].
Print Name of Defendant
STATE OF ___________________________
COUNTY OF _________________________
The foregoing Affidavit of Plea in Absentia was sworn to or affirmed and subscribed before me this _____ day of __________________, 20___, by [name of person making statement] who [___] is personally known to me OR [__] produced [insert type of identification] as identification [check one].
Notary Public Signature
Print, Type, or Stamp Commissioned Name of Notary Public
My Commission # ____________________
My Commission Expires _______________
This article was last updated on Friday, April 24, 2020.