What Is a ''Cruz Waiver'' ?

In People v. Cruz (1988) 44 Cal.3d 1247, the California Supreme Court held that section 1192.5 is applicable where the court withdraws its approval of the sentence because the defendant fails to appear for sentencing. The court stated a defendant "fully advised of his or her rights under section 1192.5" could 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." (Id. at p. 1254, fn. 5.) Such a waiver is typically referred to as a Cruz waiver. Section 1192.5 provides, in pertinent part: "Where the plea is accepted by the prosecuting attorney in open court and is approved by the court, the defendant, except as otherwise provided in this section, cannot be sentenced on the plea to a punishment more severe than that specified in the plea and the court may not proceed as to the plea other than as specified in the plea. If the court approves of the plea, it shall inform the defendant prior to the making of the plea that (1) its approval is not binding, (2) it may, at the time set for the hearing on the application for probation or pronouncement of judgment, withdraw its approval in the light of further consideration of the matter, and (3) in that case, the defendant shall be permitted to withdraw his or her plea if he or she desires to do so."