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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Handling criminal and probation matters for over 14 years.
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Is there any way I can take back a guilty plea

Resolved Question:

Is there any way I can take back a guilty plea
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am sorry to learn of these circumstances. Please clarify:

1. When did you plead guilty?

2. Have you already been sentenced?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
oct. 2011, was given a reduced charge from felony to misd. and ordered to pay court cost.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Thank you.

A defendant’s motion to withdraw his or her guilty plea is governed by Rule 32(f) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 32(f) provides:

"A motion to withdraw a plea of guilty may be made upon a showing by the defendant of any fair and just reason only before sentence is imposed; but to correct manifest injustice, the court after sentence, but before the judgment becomes final, may set aside the judgment of conviction and permit the defendant to withdraw the plea."

Under the express language of this rule, a trial court has no authority to set aside judgment and permit a withdrawal of a guilty plea after a judgment becomes final. Kawaski Devel Taylor, 2000 WL 279893, at *2.

“As a general rule, a trial court’s judgment becomes final thirty days after its entry unless a timely notice of appeal or a specified post-trial motion is filed.” State v. Pendergrass, 937 S.W.2d 834, 837 (Tenn. 1996). “Once the trial court loses jurisdiction, it generally has no power to amend its judgment.” Id.

So, what does all of that legalese mean? It means that there is no legal authority for you to now withdraw your plea because (a) the trial court already imposed sentence, and (b) 30 days has passed since the sentence and the judgment has become final and the judge has no power to change it now.

I wish very much that I could offer you an answer that was more favorable to your circumstances, but the law seems to be pretty clear. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

I hope you understand.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things.

If you have a follow-up question, please reply and ask it.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
since thirty days has passed, there is nothing I can do, I have no case being in effective counsel
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
That would be a matter for filing an appeal and too much time has passed for an appeal to be raised. I'm truly sorry.
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