If the paperwork is sitting on a Judge's desk, it can take a substantial period of time. I had a civil judgment sit on a Judge's desk for a year before she simply signed the thing.
In criminal law you have an advantage, though. If you are being prejudiced, Constitutional rights are attached. If the judge takes weeks to do this, your attorney can file a motion to place on calendar and lightly encourage the judge to review and sign. Your attorney in North Carolina probably has the best answer and knows that judge's habits and behavior.
A plea deal is usually presented to the Judge at your time of plea. If the judge does not accept the plea then your case will be reset. If he accepts it, he/she will do so right at that moment.
It depends in which court system you find yourself. A plea deal in state court can be approved at any point you are brought before a judge to enter the plea. In state court, the plea deal may be negotiated over days, weeks, or months between your attorney and the DA. Once you accept the plea deal, your attorney will typically walk you through the plea transcript, which is the transcript the judge will use when the plea is entered.
Entry of the plea requires the judge's approval. If that particular judge will not agree to the plea (which is pretty rare, most plea deals are approved), then the DA and the attorney may take the plea deal to another judge. This will all happen in your presence. The judge does not sign the agreement outside of your presence.
In federal court, the plea is normally entered at your arraignment during a Rule 11 colloquy. A federal plea deal is very different from a state plea agreement. In the Eastern District of North Carolina, there are hardly ever plea agreements that bind the judge. The plea agreement may simply protect you against additional criminal charges, or protect cooperative statements you give, or limit drug weights. A federal judge can reject the deal, which will require the parties to go back and re-negotiate.
<a href="http://www.chetson.com">Raleigh criminal lawyer</a> Damon Chetson represents people in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, and the rest of Wake County, North Carolina. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as the specific facts may change the potential advice. Consult with a licensed <a href="http://www.chetson.net">Raleigh criminal lawyer</a> or <a href="http://www.chetson.com">Raleigh DWI attorney</a> in your jurisdiction about your legal question or problem. For a free consultation about a North Carolina case, call (919) 352-9411 day or night, any day of the week.
It depends on the arrangement between the defense attorney and the district attorney and their understanding with respect to the terms of the plea including how the plea will be entered. A plea can be signed by the judge as soon as the judge understands and agrees with the plea and its terms.