Rule 25. Pleas.

(a) A minor may tender a denial of the alleged offense, may tender an admission of the alleged offense, or may, with the consent of the court, tender a plea of no contest which shall have the effect set forth in Utah Code Section 77-13-2. If the minor declines to plead, the court shall enter a denial. Counsel for the minor may enter a denial in the absence of the minor, parent, guardian or custodian.

(b) When denial is entered, the court shall set the matter for a trial hearing or for a pre-trial conference.

(c) The court may refuse to accept an admission or a plea of no contest and may not accept such plea until the court has found:

(c)(1) that the right to counsel has been knowingly waived if the minor is not represented by counsel;

(c)(2) that the plea is voluntarily made;

(c)(3) that the minor and, if present, the minor's parent, guardian, or custodian, have been advised of, and the minor understands and has knowingly waived, the right against compulsory self-incrimination, the right to be presumed innocent, the right to a speedy trial, the right to confront and cross-examine opposing witnesses, the right to testify and to have process for the attendance of witnesses;

(c)(4) that the minor and, if present, the minor's parent, guardian, or custodian have been advised of the consequences which may be imposed after acceptance of the admission of the alleged offense or plea of no contest;

(c)(5) that the minor understands the nature and elements of the offense to which the plea is entered, that upon trial the prosecution would have the burden of proving each of those elements beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the plea is an admission of all those elements;

(c)(6) that there is a factual basis for the plea; and

(c)(7) where applicable, the provisions of paragraph (e) have been met.

(d) The minor may be allowed to tender an admission to a lesser included offense, or an offense of a lesser degree or a different offense which the court may enter, after amending the petition.

(e) Plea discussions and agreements are authorized in conformity with the provisions of Utah Rule of Criminal Procedure 11. The prosecuting attorney may enter into discussions and reach a proposed plea agreement with the minor through the minor's counsel, or if the minor is not represented by counsel, directly with the minor. However, the prosecuting attorney may not enter into settlement discussions with a minor not represented by counsel unless the parent, guardian or custodian is advised of the discussion and given the opportunity to be present.

(f) A minor may tender an admission which is not entered by the court for a stated period of time. Conditions may be imposed upon the minor in that period of time and successful completion of the conditions set shall result in dismissal upon motion. If the minor fails to complete the conditions set, the admission shall be entered and the court shall proceed to order appropriate dispositions.

Advisory Committee Notes