In Jacksonville, Florida, a plea of guilty or no contest in a criminal case must be entered into voluntarily. Rule 3.172(c) of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure requires that the trial judge determine the voluntariness of a plea by placing the defendant under oath, addressing the defendant, personally, and determining that he or she understands certain facts and consequences. Normally, the judge will engage in a conversation, plea colloquy, with the defendant to make sure that the defendant understands what he is doing and understands the rights that he is waiving.
In State v. Avila, the Florida Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the burden of proof lies with a defendant to prove that the plea colloquy given to him by the judge was not proper. Once the defendant meets this burden, the burden of proof shift to the State.
If you have recently pled guilty or no contest to a crime and were not fully informed by the court of the consequences, you may be able to withdraw your plea. For more information, contact a Criminal Defense Attorney.