Rule 17.4. Plea negotiations and agreements

Plea Negotiations. The parties may negotiate concerning, and reach an agreement on, any aspect of the case. At the request of either party, or sua sponte, the court may, in its sole discretion, participate in settlement discussions by directing counsel having the authority to settle to participate in a good faith discussion with the court regarding a non-trial or non-jury trial resolution which conforms to the interests of justice. Before such discussions take place, the prosecutor shall afford the victim an opportunity to confer with the prosecutor concerning a non-trial or non-jury trial resolution, if they have not already conferred, and shall inform the court and counsel of any statement of position by the victim. If the defendant is to be present at any such settlement discussions, the victim shall also be afforded the opportunity to be present and to state his or her position with respect to a non-trial or non-jury trial settlement. The trial judge shall only participate in settlement discussions with the consent of the parties. In all other cases, the discussions shall be before another judge or a settlement division. If settlement discussions do not result in an agreement, the case shall be returned to the trial judge.

Plea Agreement. The terms of a plea agreement shall be reduced to writing and signed by the defendant, the defendant's counsel, if any, and the prosecutor. An agreement may be revoked by any party prior to its acceptance by the court.

c. Determining the Accuracy of the Agreement and the Voluntariness and Intelligence of the Plea. The parties shall file the agreement with the court, which shall address the defendant personally and determine that he or she understands and agrees to its terms, that the written document contains all the terms of the agreement, and that the plea is entered in conformance with Rules 17.2 and 17.3.

Acceptance of Plea. After making such determinations and considering the victim's view, if provided, the court shall either accept or reject the tendered negotiated plea. The court shall not be bound by any provision in the plea agreement regarding the sentence or the term and conditions of probation to be imposed, if, after accepting the agreement and reviewing a presentence report, it rejects the provision as inappropriate.

Rejection of Plea. If an agreement or any provision thereof is rejected by the court, it shall give the defendant an opportunity to withdraw his or her plea, advising the defendant that if he or she permits the plea to stand, the disposition of the case may be less favorable to him or her than that contemplated by the agreement.

Disclosure and Confidentiality. When a plea agreement or any term thereof is accepted, the agreement or such term shall become part of the record. However, if no agreement is reached, or if the agreement is revoked, rejected by the court, or withdrawn or if the judgment is later vacated or reversed, neither the plea discussion nor any resulting agreement, plea or judgment, nor statements made at a hearing on the plea, shall be admissible against the defendant in any criminal or civil action or administrative proceeding.

Automatic Change of Judge. If a plea is withdrawn after submission of the presentence report, the judge, upon request of the defendant, shall disqualify himself or herself, but no additional disqualification of judges under this rule shall be permitted.