7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies provisions relating to a plea held in abeyance.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ makes a plea held in abeyance the equivalent of a conviction for the purpose of a
13 future sentencing enhancement; and
14 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes.
15 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17 Other Special Clauses:
19 Utah Code Sections Affected:
21 77-2a-2, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2018, Chapter 30
23 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
24 Section 1. Section 77-2a-2 is amended to read:
25 77-2a-2. Plea in abeyance agreement -- Negotiation -- Contents -- Terms of
26 agreement -- Waiver of time for sentencing.
27 (1) At any time after acceptance of a plea of guilty or no contest, but before entry of
28 judgment of conviction and imposition of sentence, the court may, upon motion of both the
29 prosecuting attorney and the defendant, hold the plea in abeyance and not enter judgment of
30 conviction against the defendant nor impose sentence upon the defendant within the time
31 periods contained in [
32 (2) A defendant shall be represented by counsel during negotiations for a plea in
33 abeyance and at the time of acknowledgment and affirmation of any plea in abeyance
34 agreement unless the defendant knowingly and intelligently waives the defendant's right to
36 (3) A defendant has the right to be represented by counsel at any court hearing relating
37 to a plea in abeyance agreement.
38 (4) (a) [
39 the defendant and approved by the court shall include a full, detailed recitation of the
40 requirements and conditions agreed to by the defendant and the reason for requesting the court
41 to hold the plea in abeyance.
42 (b) If the plea is to a felony or any combination of misdemeanors and felonies, the
43 agreement shall:
44 (i) be in writing; and [
45 (ii) before acceptance by the court, be executed by the prosecuting attorney, the
46 defendant, and the defendant's counsel in the presence of the court.
47 (5) A plea may not be held in abeyance for a period longer than:
48 (a) 18 months if the plea was to any class of misdemeanor; or [
49 (b) three years if the plea was to:
50 (i) any degree of felony; or [
51 (ii) any combination of misdemeanors and felonies.
52 (6) Notwithstanding Subsection (5), a plea may be held in abeyance for up to two years
53 if the plea is to any class of misdemeanor and the plea in abeyance agreement includes a
54 condition that the defendant participate in a [
55 by the Judicial Council.
56 (7) A plea in abeyance agreement may not be approved unless the defendant, before the
57 court, and in any written agreement, knowingly and intelligently waives time for sentencing as
58 designated in [
59 (8) For a period of 10 years beginning on the day on which an individual enters a plea
60 in abeyance, the plea in abeyance is the equivalent of a conviction for the purpose of a future
61 sentencing enhancement, even if the charge, to which the plea in abeyance is made, is reduced
62 or dismissed in accordance with the plea in abeyance agreement.