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      CCRP 553     

  

Art. 553. Method of pleading

            A. Except when otherwise provided under Paragraph B of this Article or by local rule in accordance with Articles 551 and 562, the defendant in a felony case shall plead in person. In misdemeanor cases, the defendant may plead not guilty through counsel, may plead guilty through counsel with consent of the court, may appear at arraignment, at the entry of his plea of guilty, or both, by way of simultaneous audio-visual transmission in accordance with local rules of court and Articles 551 and 562, and may plead and be arraigned in accordance with procedures established according to R.S. 32:57(C). A corporation may plead through counsel in all cases. The plea shall be made in open court and shall be immediately entered in the minutes of the court. A failure to enter a plea in the minutes shall not affect the validity of any proceeding in the case.

            B. By rule adopted pursuant to R.S. 13:472, the judge of the district court or a majority of the judges in a multi-district court may permit the defendant in a noncapital felony case to waive formal arraignment and enter a plea of not guilty without pleading in person. The rule shall require that the plea be in writing and shall set forth the filing procedure. Any formal defect shall not affect the validity of the proceeding.

            C. Nothing in this Article prohibits the court, by local rule, from providing for a defendant's appearance at his arraignment, at the entry of his plea of guilty, or both, by simultaneous audio-visual transmission in accordance with the provisions of Articles 551 and 562.

            Acts 1980, No. 570, §1; Acts 1990, No. 543, §1; Acts 1990, No. 593, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1011, §1; Acts 2003, No. 206, §1; Acts 2017, No. 406, §1.



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