Section 15-15-20.1

Non-capital felony offense.

(a) In any criminal proceeding for a non-capital felony offense commenced by complaint, the defendant may give written notice three days after his or her arrest to a judge of the district or circuit court of the county having jurisdiction of the offense charged that the defendant desires to plead guilty as charged or as a youthful offender upon the granting of youthful offender status.

(b) Upon receipt of the written notice from the defendant stating his or her desire to plead guilty, the court shall direct the district attorney to prefer and file an information against the defendant. The information shall be made under oath of the district attorney or a witness, and shall accuse the defendant with the same specificity as required in an indictment of the offense or offenses for which the defendant is charged. This section shall not be construed to preclude the district attorney from amending or dismissing a pending charge against a defendant before the defendant pleads guilty.

(c) Upon the filing of an information, the court shall ascertain whether the defendant has retained counsel, and, shall appoint counsel if the defendant is indigent. The court shall set an arraignment date to enable the defendant to formally enter a plea of guilty in open court. Arraignment may be held and the guilty plea entered at any time after the filing of an information.

(d) The court shall receive and enter the plea of guilty of the defendant, and shall immediately pronounce and enter a judgement of conviction, set a date for sentencing, and thereafter proceed as provided by law.

(e) Upon acceptance from the defendant plea of guilty and pronouncement and entry of judgment and sentencing, the defendant shall have a right of appeal from the action of the court.

(f) In district court, a record of the defendant's plea of guilty shall be kept by mechanical or electronic device. Any exhibits shall be preserved by the court. The record shall be preserved by the court and shall be transcribed by the designee if the defendant gives notice of appeal. The transcript of the defendant's plea of guilty shall be certified as directed by the court or as required by the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(g) If the court does not accept plea of guilty of the defendant or if youthful offender status of the defendant's application is denied, the court shall:

(1) Order the defendant discharged.

(2) Order the defendant released as provided by law.

(3) Order the defendant held in custody pending action of the grand jury, or until released on bail.

(h) This section supersedes Rule 2.2.(e) of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(i) This section applies to all persons charged with non-capital felonies after its effective date.

(Acts 1996, No. 96-531, p. 742, §§1, 2, 4.)