How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27757
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I would like to reopen a case up north involving a man James

This answer was rated:

I would like to reopen a case up north involving a man James T Reddington who accused me of assault with no evidence. I would like to have the case expunged. I was bullied into taking an alfred plea which to me doesn't make sense. The corruption I was subjected to made me fear for my future. The key I think is the coroner (the man lied and died). He's the one who told the judge there was no evidence.


I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. When was your conviction? In what US state did this matter occur?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

This occurred in Connecticut. I think 2001. Stamford Superior Court. The coroner is in Farmington. The incident occurred on Easter Sunday.

The difficulties here are that when you take a plea, you give up the right to challenge the evidence against you at hearings and trial. Further, even under the best of circumstances, it is very difficult to take a plea back once a defendant has committed on the record to it and been sentenced. That's because a judge won't sign off on a plea unless he's sure that a defendant is taking it voluntarily and of his own free will, knowing that he's waiving his rights to challenge the evidence against him at hearings and trial and after having been counseled by an attorney. He would also have stated on the record that he pled guilty because he actually was guilty.

To that effect there is always some kind of a plea allocution -- statements put on the record or signed off on by the defendant -- the purpose of which is to make the plea airtight. Your words were taken down by a court reporter and can be used against you at any hearing to reopen your case and vacate your conviction.

There are some exceptions to the general, rule of course. Typically, they involve Constitutional issues, such as lack of jurisdiction, a denial of due process, newly discovered exculpatory evidence, or an unlawful sentence.

Finally, you have waited 16 years to address this.

However, if what you want is an expungement, you do not need to reopen your old case. You would already be eligible to apply to the governor for an absolute pardon. If it were granted, that would completely erase your Connecticut criminal record. You can see the information about the pardon here. It will link you to the forms you'd need to download to get this done.

Zoey_ JD and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.

Hi Zoey. I thought the lack of evidence would compel, but what do I know of law. This man falsely accused me and the court had to know. I guess they really screwed me on this. Corruption sucks. Thanks for the advice, I'll try the pardon....


No, unfortunately. Lack of really isn't good enough to reopen a case when you gave up the right to challenge the evidence in the first place. There may be other grounds to do so after all these many years, but they are very limited. The cases that have been successfully challenged after many years are the ones where there was newly discovered evidence involved -- something that could not have possibly been known at the time of the conviction but would have completely exonerated the defendant if known.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for your help Zoey. The good Lord knows I didn't do this. And people wonder why I won't travel up north......

It is gratifying to know more about the law here as that whole experience was surreal. If I have any more questions I'll get up with you folks.....

Thanks again.


You're very welcome. Safe and happy holiday weekend!