California Penal Code Section 1192.5 - Failure to Appear for Sentencing

In People v. Cruz (1988) 44 Cal.3d 1247, the California Supreme Court held that a defendant who fails to appear for sentencing does not lose the protections of section 1192.5. Though committing "a separate offense of failure to appear ... (see Pen. Code, 1320 and 1320.5)," for which punishment may be imposed, the defendant must still be permitted to withdraw his or her plea if the court insists on imposing additional punishment in excess of that provided by the plea agreement. (Id. at p. 1253.) However, the Supreme Court added the following caveat, which recognized the ability of a defendant to waive the protections afforded by section 1192.5: "We do not mean to imply by this holding that a defendant fully advised of his or her rights under section 1192.5 may not expressly waive those rights, such that if the defendant willfully fails to appear for sentencing the trial court may withdraw its approval of the defendant's plea and impose a sentence in excess of the bargained-for term. Any such waiver, of course, would have to be obtained at the time of the trial court's initial acceptance of the plea, and it must be knowing and intelligent." (Cruz, supra, 44 Cal.3d at p. 1254, fn. 5.)