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CrimDefense, CriminalDefenseAtty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23486
Experience:  9+ years defending Misdemeanor and Felony cases.
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Can a court use prior convictions to railroad an accused to

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Can a court use prior convictions to railroad an accused to accept a plea bargain? In this case, the court appointed attorney "screwed up" and neglected to reassign a new court date on one of the charges for DWI which resulted in jail time for the prisoner. A state trooper kept following the accused around and looking for excuses to arrest him One time, it was a cracked tail light (he charged him with another DWI). Another time, he claimed the accused was driving drunkenly and found 1/2 a busperion tablet in his pocket. The accused had picked up his dad's dropped pills and when returning them to his dad, he missed a 1/2 tablet that got caught in the seam of his pants. The trooper charged him with possession with intent to sell. The accused has been arrested many times and has had to accept plea bargains when he was innocent. The state trooper should not have had access to the accused's past, and used that information to consider him a habitual criminal. They will not let this accused return to a normal life. The court appointed attorney told the accused he had to accept a plea bargain or the judge would give him life (for 1/2 a pill and two DWIs where his test showed no alcohol or drugs content. He hired a new attorney who charged him $3500, but did nothing after telling him that he could get him off b/c the courts were not supposed to use his past against him. The accused accepted a plea bargain for 5 years. His mother is insisting on a new trial. My question is: what can we do, if anything, to get the accused out of jail.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 5 years ago.
If you want to get him out of jail, he would need to file an appeal, likely in this situation, based upon ineffective assistance of counsel. If he was mis advised by his attorney and took a deal based on that instead of going to trial, he could try and vacate the plea and go to trial. The issue with the state trooper stopping him, would be defendant on him having a legal basis to do so. If he did not, the evidence found could be suppressed and not used against him.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
You didn't answer the question as to whether the trooper or court could use his past record (for which he has already paid) against him.
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 5 years ago.
The prosecutor could not likely use his past criminal history at trial against him since just because he committed a crime in the past, does not mean he committed a crime this time. The officer, who stopped him, would need to have a legal basis to do so. Just because he may have stopped him in the past for DWI or possession would not give him a legal right to use that stop him again.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, last question. Can a plea bargain be appealed or a motion for a new trial be accepted?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 5 years ago.
The plea deal would first need to be vacated based upon a legal basis, like the one I stated above. Sometimes, when a plea is taken, the court makes the defendant aware that he is waiving his right to appeal but he may have reserved it. Any attorney would be able to look into this and see if there is a legal basis to do so. After the plea is vacated a trial would be accepted. Thank you and good luck. If you have not already, please click the accept button, so I can get credit for my answer.
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Expert:  CrimDefense replied 5 years ago.
Any other questions?