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Can guilty plea signed off by judge be withdrawn if

Customer Question
Can guilty plea signed...

Can guilty plea signed off by judge be withdrawn if defendant's lawyer never tried to defend truly defend client nor explained anything. Public defender just accepted what DA wanted. Lawyer never challenged evidence or get a good deal. Defendant thought if he didnt plea guilty, judge and DA would give max sentence if he lost plus his lawyer never told him DA might still deal after a not guilty plea. Thanks.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And can you tell me a little more about the charge?

Pennsylvania

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Original charge is simple assault domestic violence plus harassment but he pled to disorderly conduct and harassment.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/15/2017
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 4 months ago
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,033
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 4 months ago

It is very difficult to get a plea back once a defendant has pled guilty. That's because judges take precautions to make a plea airtight. They all ask a series of questions either on the record or on papers, whereby a defendant has to acknowledge that he or she knows that he is voluntarily and of his own free will giving up his right to hearings and trial and is pleading guilty because he is actually guilty, among other questions. If the defendant doesn't give the right answers, the judge will not accept the plea.

If the defendant DOES give the right answers and at some point down the road wants his plea back, his admissions in court made at the time of his plea can be used against him to deny him the opportunity to get his plea back.

If this defendant has pled guilty but not yet been sentenced, he could show up on his sentencing date, say he's not ready for sentencing and ask to be able to withdraw his plea. The judge has the discretion to allow it if they feel it is in the interest of justice. If the defendant has already been sentenced, he could try to reverse his conviction in an appeal or a post-conviction motion.

Either way, it would appear that this case was reduced from a misdemeanor to a summary offense for purposes of a disposition. So the attorney got him a deal that would not result in his having been found guilty of a crime -- a summary offense is only considered an infraction. If he is able to get his plea back, he would be facing the original misdemeanor charge again, and the DA won't give him the reduction again. So he'll have to go to trial on the case.

So could he get his plea back? Maybe. It will be up to the judge. But he'd better think this over carefully. If he gets it back and wins the assault case, an acquittal is better than a conviction for a summary offense. But if he loses the case, a misdemeanor conviction will make him much worse off than he is right now.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He got 6 months probation but he also got Max fines and Max days on probation to run consecutively for first time offender. Plus every single probation condition you can think of was given. Is that normal? No drugs or alcohol was involved. Thanks.
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 4 months ago

Since a judge cannot reduce the charges, the judge could not have beaten the prosecutor's offer. However, the defendant didn't have to take this plea right away. He could have asked his lawyer to keep negotiating for lower fines or for concurrent probation sentences. Still, he did get a reduction to summary offenses. Depending on the strength of the state's case, the plea may have been good.

One thing for sure is if he were to get his plea back, the DA is not going to give him a better plea on a "do-over." He'd have to settle for something less desirable or win it at trial.

As for the probation conditions, Probation imposes those and standard conditions are typically very burdensome.

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Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 4 months ago

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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