A defendant may plead only guilty or not guilty to an offense. The court, in its discretion, may refuse to accept a plea of guilty and shall not accept such plea without first questioning the defendant personally, under oath or by affirmation, and determining by inquiry of the defendant and others, in the courts discretion, that there is a factual basis for the plea and that the plea is made voluntarily, not as a result of any threats or of any promises or inducements not disclosed on the record, and with an understanding of the nature of the charge and the consequences of the plea. In addition to its inquiry of the defendant, the court may accept a written stipulation of facts, opinion, or state of mind that the defendant admits to be true, provided the stipulation is signed by the defendant, defense counsel, and the prosecutor. When the defendant is charged with a crime punishable by death, no factual basis shall be required from the defendant before entry of a plea of guilty to a capital offense or to a lesser included offense, provided the court is satisfied from the proofs presented that there is a factual basis for the plea. For good cause shown the court may, in accepting a plea of guilty, order that such plea not be evidential in any civil proceeding. If a plea of guilty is refused, no admission made by the defendant shall be admissible in evidence against the defendant at trial. If a defendant refuses to plead or stands mute, or if the court refuses to accept a plea of guilty, a plea of not guilty shall be entered. Before accepting a plea of guilty, the court shall require the defendant to complete, insofar as applicable, and sign the appropriate form prescribed by the Administrative Director of the Courts, which shall then be filed with the criminal division managers office.
Note: Source--R.R. 3:5-2 (a)(b). Amended July 14, 1972 to be effective September 5, 1972. Amended July 17, 1975 to be effective September 8, 1975. Amended September 28, 1982 to be effective immediately; amended July 13, 1994 to be effective January 1, 1995; amended July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.