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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 118784
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I was arrested in April, 2015 in. I am a professional adult.

Customer Question

I was arrested in April, 2015 for DUI in Virginia. I am a professional adult. My BAC was .19. I have an attorney. I went to court expeditiously per my request in July, 2015, understanding from my attorneys office that I had a deal. I had a contact and
had been "approved" per my attorney's office for home monitoring. I go to court in July and all was well supposedly. I had only contacted face to face my attorney one time. Several calls to his office had been done prior. When I went to court, I said nothing.
He did everything and I went to the jail office per his legal assistant's advice to set up my home monitoring. I get there and the deputy lets me know that my paperwork said "mandatory" and they would not allow home monitoring. I was shocked. I call my attorney's
office, speak to his assistant who stated he would take care of it. The gist is that he did not. He called me back in that afternoon and my "attorney" advised me that nothing was guaranteed (although I have it still in email that it was all worked out). He
later called me that afternoon to tell me how he never wants a person he represents to be blindsided and asked me to pay more and appeal. I have appealed to the higher civil court and have my date in a couple of weeks. I am scared. I do not want to go to jail
but want to know what you think about this entire situation.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

When an attorney makes a deal with the prosecutor on behalf of their client, that deal is dependent upon the statute and also the judge. If the statute made the deal the attorney received for you impossible or if the judge does not concur with the deal, then you have the right to vacate your plea and go to trial. If the court changed the deal or the sheriff is saying the deal was invalid, then you need to file your appeal with the attorney and get the plea either corrected or vacated, since you entered the plea under one understanding and that understanding was changed.

The attorney should have reviewed the plea and should have known if it was or was not possible if he was experienced. If he neglected to do so, he potentially committed malpractice and that is something you would examine later after the appeal to determine if you have grounds to sue him to refund some or all of your money or if he is liable to you for damages. After your appeal is over, you need to get your case file to a local legal malpractice attorney and have them examine the record to determine if the attorney acted appropriately in handling this matter.