7A-457. Waiver of counsel; pleas of guilty.

(a) An indigent person who has been informed of his right to be represented by counsel at any in-court proceeding, may, in writing, waive the right to in-court representation by counsel in accordance with rules adopted by the Office of Indigent Defense Services. Any waiver of counsel shall be effective only if the court finds of record that at the time of waiver the indigent person acted with full awareness of his rights and of the consequences of the waiver. In making such a finding, the court shall consider, among other things, such matters as the person's age, education, familiarity with the English language, mental condition, and the complexity of the crime charged.

(b) If an indigent person waives counsel as provided in subsection (a), and pleads guilty to any offense, the court shall inform him of the nature of the offense and the possible consequences of his plea, and as a condition of accepting the plea of guilty the court shall examine the person and shall ascertain that the plea was freely, understandably and voluntarily made, without undue influence, compulsion or duress, and without promise of leniency.

(c) An indigent person who has been informed of his right to be represented by counsel at any out-of-court proceeding, may, either orally or in writing, waive the right to out-of-court representation by counsel. (1969, c. 1013, s. 1; 1971, c. 1243; 1973, c. 151, s. 3; 2000-144, s. 11.)