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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28499
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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My son is a defendant in Indiana and is charge with

Customer Question

my son is a defendant in Indiana and is charge with molestation by his teenage step daughter. He has continually proclaimed his innocence and has been offered several plea agreements but has refused them because he don't want to plead guilty to something he didn't do. He originally asked for a jury trial and his public defender said she could say more to the judge in a bench trial than she could in a jury trial so he waived his right to a jury trial then just before the bench trial she came in with another plea agreement which he refused to sign then she started telling him that she felt he would lose the case because of a letter the girl wrote and that the judge on the case was a head splitter and she was sure he would find him guilty so he extremely reluctantly sighed the plea agreement. He feels his attorney slowly lead him down the wrong path because she didn't want to do the work of a trial especially a jury trial. Can he withdraw his plea agreement? can he request a jury trial after he waived his right to one? Can he reopen his case with another attorney after he is sentenced.?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in? What confuses you?
Customer: He is in Indiana.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes he has no money and wanted to know if there was a way to apply for financial aid to get an attorney probono
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

It is extremely difficult to withdraw a guilty plea. The standard is that a person will only be able to withdraw a plea if they can establish that their will was overcome, and that they did not voluntarily plead guilty - meaning that someone forced him to do it, and he wasn't able to think about himself. It's a high standard, and requests to withdraw pleas are rarely granted, but he does have a right to put in the request.

It is even more difficult to withdraw a plea after sentencing than before. He has a better chance if he files as soon as possible, before he is sentenced. The standard is the same, but suddenly the judge is also wondering if he only filed the Motion to Withdraw because he didn't like the sentence. He can ask the original lawyer to file the plea, or he can hire someone else. It might be worth calling the public defender's office in your area to see if they are able to assist with this type of thing.

If a judge grants the plea withdrawal, he will get a jury trial. The district attorney will probably stop all plea negotiations, and if he ultimately is found guilty, the sentence will be more harsh than whatever he agreed to. It's important that he understands that, because the issue at trial isn't whether he actually did it. It's whether the district attorney has enough evidence to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that he did it. His first lawyer thought they did. It may be worth sitting down with a second lawyer who can review the evidence before he decides if he wants to take that risk.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?