California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 1017

Every plea must be made in open court and, may be oral or in writing, shall be entered upon the minutes of the court, and shall be taken down in shorthand by the official reporter if one is present.  All pleas of guilty or nolo contendere to misdemeanors or felonies shall be oral or in writing.  The plea, whether oral or in writing, shall be in substantially the following form:

1. If the defendant plead guilty:  “The defendant pleads that he or she is guilty of the offense charged.”

2. If he or she plead not guilty:  “The defendant pleads that he or she is not guilty of the offense charged.”

3. If he or she plead a former conviction or acquittal:  “The defendant pleads that he or she has already been convicted (or acquitted) of the offense charged, by the judgment of the court of __________ (naming it), rendered at __________ (naming the place), on the __________ day of __________.”

4. If he or she plead once in jeopardy:  “The defendant pleads that he or she has been once in jeopardy for the offense charged (specifying the time, place, and court).”

5. If he or she plead not guilty by reason of insanity:  “The defendant pleads that he or she is not guilty of the offense charged because he or she was insane at the time that he or she is alleged to have committed the unlawful act.”


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