(a) If the parties have agreed upon a plea arrangement pursuant to G.S. 15A-1021 in which the prosecutor has agreed to recommend a particular sentence, they must disclose the substance of their agreement to the judge at the time the defendant is called upon to plead.
(b) Before accepting a plea pursuant to a plea arrangement in which the prosecutor has agreed to recommend a particular sentence, the judge must advise the parties whether he approves the arrangement and will dispose of the case accordingly. If the judge rejects the arrangement, he must so inform the parties, refuse to accept the defendant's plea of guilty or no contest, and advise the defendant personally that neither the State nor the defendant is bound by the rejected arrangement. The judge must advise the parties of the reasons he rejected the arrangement and afford them an opportunity to modify the arrangement accordingly. Upon rejection of the plea arrangement by the judge the defendant is entitled to a continuance until the next session of court. A decision by the judge disapproving a plea arrangement is not subject to appeal. If a judge rejects a plea arrangement disclosed, in open court, pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, then the judge shall order that the rejection be noted on the plea transcript and shall order that the plea transcript with the notation of the rejection be made a part of the record.
(c) If the parties have entered a plea arrangement relating to the disposition of charges in which the prosecutor has not agreed to make any recommendations concerning sentence, the substance of the arrangement must be disclosed to the judge at the time the defendant is called upon to plead. The judge must accept the plea if he determines that the plea is the product of the informed choice of the defendant and that there is a factual basis for the plea. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1; 1975, c. 166, s. 27; 1977, c. 186; 2009-179, s. 1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014