Chief Sponsor: Lawanna Shurtliff

Senate Sponsor: ____________


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:
16          None
17     Other Special Clauses:
18          None
19     Utah Code Sections Affected:
20     AMENDS:
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 [Rule 22(a),] Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 22(a).
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
35     counsel.
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) [Any] A plea in abeyance agreement entered into between the prosecution and
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 [shall,]
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 [longer than]
49          (b) three years if the plea was to:
50          (i) any degree of felony; or [to]
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 [problem solving] problem-solving court approved
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 [Rule 22(a),] Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 22(a).

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.