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Thoreau (T-USA)
Thoreau (T-USA), Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Yesterday 17 year old stepson just appeared before a judge

Customer Question

Yesterday 17 year old stepson just appeared before a judge and pleaded guilty to assault and battery against his 13 yo brother.

Prior to appearing with the judge, he had not spoken to a lawyer and had no legal representation. Also prior to appearing before a judge, he spoke to the prosecuting lawyer alone, who apparently instructed him on what to tell the Judge. Can we withdraw his guilty plea?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Thoreau (T-USA) replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question. I am sending this answer to you only a few minutes after you submitted your question.
Yes. Your son can file a motion to withdraw his plea. Once the plea is accepted, there's no absolute right to withdraw it. People v Gomer, 206 Mich App 55, 56; 520 NW2d 360 (1994). If he can show the court that there is a fair and just reason that the withdrawal should be allowed, the court could then permit it. People v Jackson, 203 Mich App 607, 611; 513 NW2d 206 (1994). Therefore, your son would have to ask the court for permission to withdraw the plea. That said, his lack of counsel could work in his favor in that regard. In fact, if the court didn't adequately inform him of his right to counsel prior to entering the plea, failure to allow withdrawal of the plea may even constitute a violation of his right to counsel. At this stage, to avoid further mistakes, he should immediately retain an attorney to assist him with the matter.

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