Anyone facing a criminal charge enjoys very important Constitutional Rights that cannot be taken away or “waived” by anyone other than the accused himself. As such, when a defendant is considering taking a deal , reduction, diversion or plea bargain he must have an understanding of his rights and be willing to give them up in order to resolve the case.
Among the most significant rights are the right to a jury trial, the right to present evidence, the right against self incrimination and the right to cross examine those who may present evidence against him or her.
When a “deal” is offered the accused must give up the rights above in order to take advantage of that proposed resolution of the case. The rights are waived via a written “plea and waiver of rights” form. The form explains the rights you have to go to trial and requires initials to acknowledge you understand those rights and wish to give those rights up in order to resolve the case.
The form also contains information about the potential consequences of a plea, the Judge will not inquire about a person’s individual situation so you must initial that you have read the potential consequences even if they do not apply to you specifically. For example, on a DUI waiver the form will advise that if you are not a citizen a plea may result in deportation or exclusion from admission into the United States. This may not apply to you because you are a citizen, however, the Judge will not ask you if you are or not so just initial the box that you have read and understood this advisal. The same applies for the advisal if you are under 21 or a commercial driver, even if these are inapplicable to you, initial that you have read them. Initial all of the boxes on the form.
Next, take the form to a notary and have the notary stamp or attach an acknowledgment that the signature on the waiver is yours. Once notarized, mail the original back to the attorney.